Open Wide and Say Aahhh 

Open female mouth during oral checkup at the dentist. Selective focus.

When we ask you to open wide and say aahh, does it do anything? The position of your mouth and throat when you say “ah” makes the area good for viewing. It’s easier to tell you to say “ah” than to say “widen your lips, lower your tongue, drop your jaw, and open your throat.”

At Chinook Mall Family Dental Clinic our focus is on your overall well being and your mouth is an excellent gateway into the rest of your body! You’d be surprised at the information we get just from you opening your mouth! When you go to the dentist, it’s usually for a cleaning or filling. But Dr. Charchuk is looking for a much more. Such diseases like cancer, anemia and diabetes will first be identified in a regular examination. And not only diseases, he can also identify your habits, to your diet.  Today, while physicians have highly sophisticated ways of testing for disease, the mouth remains one of your body’s most sensitive indicators.

If you’re not getting enough Vitamin C or B complex in your diet, there’s a clue: tiny cracks in the lips. Insufficient iron? A burning sensation in the tongue. A painful red tongue is a tip-off to lack of Vitamin B12. Other things we are able to determine from a thorough examination?

You Use to Suck Your Thumb

Many children such their thumb and are left with none to little long term effects. But if you are someone who sucked their thumb past the age of 7 or 8 there can be significant changes to your bite or position of your teeth.

Your Bad Breath is Telling You Something

Most of the bacteria in the mouth responsible for bad breath hang out on the back of the tongue. Another culprit of bad breath is dry mouth, a condition that occurs when the flow of saliva decreases. Dry mouth can be caused by various medications, salivary gland problems or simply by breathing through the mouth. Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth can also be a warning sign of gum disease, which is caused by plaque. In this case, your dentist would need to treat you to bring your gums back to their healthy state. Finally, bad breath that doesn’t respond to any treatments may be a sign of a serious medical disorder. Some systemic conditions, including diabetes, liver and kidney diseases, produce symptoms related to mouth odor. Tonsil stones, sinus or lung infections may also play a role in bad breath.

You Never Floss- With the Exception of Today Before Your Appointment!

The gums of people who only floss right before a visit tend to bleed or look damaged, whereas, healthy gums are nice and tight and pink. When patients floss right before coming for a cleaning,  the slices are obvious where the floss cut at the gum from overzealous flossing. There is no fooling us!

You Have a Sinus Infection Not a Toothache

What is the connection? The location of your sinuses is very close to your upper molars. Since they are in such close proximity to the roots of your teeth, when they become inflamed, congested, or irritated, they can swell and exert pressure on those roots. If the sinus infection is severe enough, it can even impact the location and orientation of your upper teeth, leading to an altered bite alignment and causing all kinds of discomfort.  Differences: It is not always easy to determine what an isolated tooth ache feels like and what indicates a larger issue with sinus pain. Typically, a sinus infection will extend beyond the tooth, encompassing a larger area in a constant, aching sensation that is often described as a tender pain that may come and go. Other cold symptoms or recurring allergies are also usually associated with sinus infections. A simple home test is to have a patient bend over to touch their toes. If the pressure or pain increases just by doing this, the pain is most likely not tooth-related and you should see an ENT or primary care physician before coming to the dentist.

You Have Oral Cancer

Checking for signs of oral cancer is part of a regular dental checkup. Your dentist can examine your oral tissues easily by looking at your lips and inside your mouth. They will check your gums carefully, the inside of your cheeks and your tongue. Also, the dentist will look at the roof and floor of your mouth. What will my dentist look for?  Red or white patches, sores that bleed easily or do not heal, thick or hard spots or a lump. Other signs of oral cancer include numbness, pain or tenderness, or a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down.

You Have Diabetes

Many times, imbalances in sugar will show a rapid change in the health of your gums, including increased swelling, bleeding, and sensitivity. In conjunction, the consistency of saliva may change, and there may be increased decay. These may all be signs of sugar levels that are out of control, so dentists can alert patients to see their doctor to check for diabetes.

Mouths can even signal a celebration: pregnancy evokes significant changes in the mother-to-be’s gums. So it’s possible we can confirm that a blessed event is in your future! Your mouth can tell us a lot without saying a word and we want the opportunity to help keep you in tune with your health. Dr. Charchuk and his team are here at our Chinook Mall location to better serve you, contact us today.

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