Twin Falls, Idaho dental exam evaluates your mouth for insight into your oral and overall health

The oral cavity isn’t just the teeth and gums, though those are the most visible parts of your smile and the parts that are most associated with dental care. So, the oral health exam in Twin Falls, Idaho at the office of Dr. Justin Cress evaluates and detects potential problems with dental (teeth) and periodontal (gums) structures, as well as with the interrelated jaws, lips, palates, tonsils, tongue, inner cheek lining, and throat. Because the oral cavity accounts for numerous parts, there are many things that Cress Dental can discover about your overall health just by having you say, “Ah!”

Gum disease and dental decay

Let’s start with the conditions most people consider when they think of an oral exam or checkup. A visual inspection and diagnostics, such as X-rays and imaging, can detect the earliest stages of enamel erosion and periodontal inflammation. Often, these conditions are asymptomatic in their earliest stages. It isn’t until the disease has progressed that symptoms such as blood on your toothbrush or floss start to present themselves. By the time you notice these signs, gum disease or decay may have caused irrevocable damage. Combined with your dentist’s skill, sensitive and sophisticated imaging can detect underlying conditions that would otherwise go unnoticed. The earlier we intervene with these conditions, the greater the odds that we’ll be able to prevent permanent damage, and the easier the care and treatment to resolve these problems.

Oral cancer screening

Dentists such as Dr. Cress may be on the front lines of detecting cancers on the lips, gums, and other parts of the mouth. Check-ups would not be complete without your doctor or dentist palpating or feeling the sides of your neck, under your chin, and the insides of your mouth for abnormalities. In conversation with you, or upon visual inspection, we may isolate suspicious symptoms that require further investigation; for instance, lip cancer signs can be as seemingly innocuous as persistent dryness or a sore that won’t heal. As with other cancers, detecting oral tumors early is lifesaving. For instance, the American Cancer Society reports that localized tongue tumors have a 5-year relative survival rate of 92%, versus a 39% 5-year survival rate for tumors that have spread to distant areas, such as the lungs.

A window into your systemic health

Here again, your dentist can be your first line of defense. There are several systemic conditions that manifest as oral health problems. Autoimmune disorders like lupus, for example, can present as lesions on the floor of the mouth. Telltale signs of anemia include pale oral tissues and an inflamed tongue (glossitis), while patients with diabetes may complain about changes in their ability to taste foods, dry mouth, and a burning sensation.

No two oral checkups are the same. Each patient is different. Plus, as your overall health evolves, so does your oral health. Call (208) 544-4848 to schedule your visit at Cress Dental in Twin Falls, ID.

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