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Dentistry beyond the teeth


Dentistry beyond the teeth

The dentist function in their daily queries goes beyond examining teeth. It is very important that be performed a patient full evaluation with respect to the mouth, including the tongue, gums, internal tissues and even throat. See what must be seen in a dental appointment beyond the teeth.

Gums Exam
Along with the bones, gums help in tooth support. If there is any inflammation in this region, it is a dentist´s function to take action to reverse the situation. To detect problems, it is important to pay attention to signs such as: bleeding, red gums, swollen and sensitive.

Mouth internal tissues
A common problem identified in the oral mucosa is the cold sore, injury that deserves more attention, because when it continuous for more than two weeks can be sign to oral cancer.

Tongue Analysis
Tongue is considered a diseases´ organ indicator. When healthy, it should be pink with smooth and homogeneous surface. Any color change or in shape and size can indicate from an anemia and lack of vitamins to AIDS or cancer.

Occlusion Test
Attention to the fit between the mandible and maxilla. Occlusion (or bite) problems easily go unnoticed by patients and, therefore, it is up to the dentist to identify these cases at the first consultation and to avoid complications.

If the throat is inflated, it can be the cause of dental problems as mucosal dryness, mouth breathing and tonsils´ inflammation.

Face Exam
A dentist can identify developmental problems of the jaw muscles or some type of malocclusion just looking at the face of a patient. Some of these factors can change the face´s shape and some types of brokerage surgeries may be indicated.

The dentist has gained important role in the early head and neck diseases´ detection. The swelling in the neck, for example, can indicate lymph nodes´ inflammation, which can be caused even by infected tooth.

Attention to noise
Dentists also have a duty to examine the joints that connect the skull to the jaw and, therefore, must be aware of the noise when the patient opens and closes his mouth. Furthermore, the opening degree must be evaluated. People with TMJ disorder often also complain of headaches, ear and tooth.

Bad breath
This query will likely be the first issue to be perceived. When identifies it, the dentist can make a careful assessment oral hygiene of the patient, as well as the presence of bacterial plaque and tongue coating, for example.

Source: ABO - Associação Brasileira de Odontologia. Access on: 14/08/2015. Available: