Psst… We know what you’re thinking before your dentist appointment
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Psst… We know what you’re thinking before your dentist appointment

Before your dental appointment, we knew you had questions… but now that we can search anything on Google, we finally REALLY know what you’ve been wondering.

We took a look at some of the questions that automatically pop up when you start asking about your dentist on Google. You surprised us with a few curveballs, but what we’re really excited about is that we can answer them for you here. You don’t have to wonder, be embarrassed or simply not-know before you come in for your appointment – just ask. 

Here are the answers we have for you today. 

Common Search 1: Why does my dentist check…

Dental exams are actually about more than your teeth. Diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions can often be detected because of issues that start in the mouth.  Swollen gums and a rapid loss of bone can be indicators that the patient needs to be checked further for diabetes. Dentists can even tell you may be stressed when they see wear and tear on your teeth. Overall, the mouth has important clues about the health of our bodies. 

Why does my dentist check my blood pressure?

High blood pressure can put people at risk for heart attacks and strokes. Dentists check blood pressure to make sure your body is ready for a dental procedure. There is a link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease, so it is important for your dentist to check your body’s vitals. Nothing can raise a person’s blood pressure like a visit to the dentist. Our fear of the unknown can definitely lead to some anxiety. Hopefully after having some of your questions answered here, you will go into your next visit with confidence. 

Why does my dentist check my neck?

Yes, it might seem strange for a dentist to be looking at your neck and jawline when they usually focus on your teeth, but there is a reason for it! Your dentist is checking for signs of oral cancer. By examining the neck, jawline, cheeks, and tongue, we are able to see if there are any red/white spots or any discomfort in those areas. Early detection of these symptoms is key. 

Why does my dentist check my jaw?

Like the neck, the jawline is checked to look for signs of oral cancer. Your dentist will also be checking your dental occlusion, which is a fancy way to say how your teeth come together when you bite down. If your bite is out of alignment, it can eventually affect your teeth, mouth, and gums. By feeling your jawbones, the dentist is able to detect early signs of TMJ, the wearing down of teeth, or muscle spasms. So we encourage you to let the dentist take a look at that beautiful bite. 

Common Search 2: When should I see a dentist…

When should I see a dentist for tooth pain?

Tooth pain is a major concern of patients, but how does one know what type of pain warrants a trip to the dentist? We are here to help! For tooth pain, you should go to the dentist if the pain lasts more than 1 or 2 days. You should also go if you are experiencing a fever, earache, or a discharge from the infected site. 

Don’t hesitate to see a dentist if you are experiencing severe pain. Tooth pain is usually caused by tooth decay, so make sure to keep up with your brushing and flossing.

When should I see a dentist about wisdom teeth?

When most people hear the words “wisdom teeth” from their dentist, they are expecting the word “removal” to follow. This is not the case for every patient. Wisdom teeth usually have to be removed because there is not enough room for them to grow in properly. 

The crowding of those teeth can lead to infection, gum disease, or damage to surrounding teeth. Many dentists prefer taking them out at an earlier age to avoid these concerns and because the roots of the teeth are not fully grown at that time. The best way to find out if your wisdom teeth are healthy is to head to the dentist. 

When should I see a dentist?

It is recommended you see a dentist for two cleanings every year. There are lots of different reasons to visit the dentist though. The important thing is to listen to your body. If you are having severe discomfort in a tooth or excessive dry mouth, make sure to set up an appointment. Many serious issues like oral cancer or TMJ can be prevented by visiting a dentist regularly. Make sure to talk with yours to find out the right schedule for you. 

Our goal in responding to these very common searches is to let you know that there’s no topic we won’t cover with you. We’re medical professionals, so we’ve seen it all – and it’s important to us that your health comes first. You don’t have to be embarrassed to ask us anything. 

So what do you think? Should we do another round of answers to common Google searches?

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