Seeing a dentist for routine check-ups/examinations will help you to avoid problems such as gum disease, tooth decay and tooth surface loss. During a check-up, your dentist will complete a comprehensive examination of your mouth, spanning your teeth, gums, tongue, cheeks, jaw and neck.
As gum disease (periodontal disease) is the leading cause of tooth loss and can be difficult to spot, we conduct a check for gum health and bone loss during the examination. If we find signs of the condition, we will suggest seeing a hygienist for a thorough clean of your tooth surfaces.
If your dentist spots any problems, we will discuss the findings with you and further treatment may be suggested.
In most cases, we recommend you visit for an examination every 6 months. This is reviewed for each patient, following NICE guidelines, and dependent on your individual case. If you have good oral health, you may only need to visit once a year.
Mouth Cancer Screening
Mouth cancer, or oral cancer, can occur anywhere in the oral cavity so during a routine examination, we check your mouth for noticeable signs. We also look for unusual swellings, abnormalities and other changes to your face, neck or lips. The earlier oral cancer is detected, the greater the likelihood of successful treatment. It is wise to get to know your mouth so you can easily spot any changes which may include:
- A sore spot that doesn’t heal
- Red or white patches
- Odd lumps
- Numb areas of the tongue or mouth
- Persistent sore throat or hoarse voice
- Unexpected swelling in jaw
- Difficulty swallowing
Please let us know if you notice any changes to your mouth in between your routine appointments.
Risk factors for oral cancer
Smoking is one of the highest risk factors for oral cancer. Combining smoking with a high alcohol intake further increases the risk of developing oral cancer. Your dentist will advise you on how to reduce your risk and recommend any lifestyle changes.