Dentist Blog

Posts for tag: dental exam

By Hidden Lakes Dental Care, PC
July 12, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Teeth CleaningDo you receive a dental cleaning every six months? Your oral health may suffer if regular cleanings aren't part of your routine. Our Bolingbrook, IL, dentists Dr. Kathryn Bachinski and Dr. Christine Petrilla offer professional cleanings, checkups and other services you need to care for your smile.

Dental cleanings keep your smile fresh and bright

Every cleaning ends with a polishing session to enhance the appearance of your tooth enamel and remove surface stains that may make your teeth look a little dull. Professional cleanings also free food particles trapped between teeth, freshening your breath.

Cleanings remove cavity-causing plaque

Brushing your teeth twice daily is a simple way to get rid of plaque, but sometimes brushing alone isn't enough. If your teeth overlap, you may not be able to fit your toothbrush bristles into the tight spaces. The longer plaque remains on your teeth, the greater your chance of developing both cavities and gum disease. During cleanings, dental hygienists use special tools that clean plaque from hard-to-reach places.

Regular cleanings may help reduce your gum disease risk

Left on your teeth long enough, plaque turns into a hard deposit known as tartar. The transformation can begin if plaque lingers on your teeth for as little as a week. Tartar, a noticeable brown deposit that appears at the base of teeth, can only be removed with a thorough dental cleaning. If it's not removed promptly, you may be more likely to develop gingivitis, the earliest phase of gum disease. Signs and symptoms of gingivitis include bleeding when you brush and floss, bad breath and red, swollen or receding gums.

Checkups are essential to your oral health

In addition to cleanings, regular visits include an examination by your Bolingbrook dentist. While examining your mouth, she looks for signs of tooth decay, gum disease and other signs of potential problems, such as a crack in a tooth or a loose filling. Your dentist also searches for possible signs of oral cancer, such as lumps and red or white patches in the tissues of your mouth.

Professional cleanings help you keep your smile healthy and bright! Call Bolingbrook, IL, dentists Drs. Kathryn Bachinski and Christine Petrilla at (630) 759-0077 to schedule your appointment.

By Hidden Lakes Dental Care, PC
March 23, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: dental exam  

Most everyone knows that going to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings can help save your smile — but did you ever stop to think that it just might save your life?

That's what recently happened to 11-year-old Journee Woodard of Edmond, Oklahoma. The young girl was having a routine teeth cleaning when hygienist Rachel Stroble noticed something unusual: The whites of her eyes (her sclera) had a distinctly yellow tint. Dr. Michael Chandler, Journee’s dentist, confirmed the hygienist’s suspicions, and advised her mom to take her for further testing. The tests revealed that Journee had a tumor covering parts of her pancreas, gallbladder and liver; it could have ruptured at any moment, with devastating consequences.

The tumor was removed three days later in a 9-hour operation, and Journee is now recovering. As for her dentist, Dr. Chandler told reporters that he and his staff were just doing their jobs thoroughly. “It's hard to feel like I’m a hero,” he said (though others might disagree).

Is this a one-in-a-million case? Maybe — yet for many people, a family dentist may be the health care professional who is seen more often than any other. That can put dentists in the unique position of being able to closely monitor not only a person’s oral health, but also their overall health.

There are several reasons why that’s so. One is that most systemic diseases (such as diabetes, leukemia, and heart disease, for example) can have oral manifestations — that is, symptoms that show up in the mouth. If your dentist notices something unusual, further testing may be recommended. Dentists also regularly screen for diseases specific to the mouth — such as oral cancer, which has a much better chance of being cured when it is caught at an early stage.

But beyond checking for particular diseases, dentists often notice other things that may indicate a health issue. For example, if you complain of dry mouth or snoring, and appear fatigued in the dental chair, your dentist may suspect undiagnosed sleep apnea: a potentially serious condition. Many other signs — such as yellowed eyes, a pounding heart rate, or shortness of breath — can indicate potential problems.

Of course, we’re not even mentioning the main reason for regular dental checkups — keeping your smile healthy and bright; for many people that’s reason enough. How does Journee’s mom feel about keeping dental appointments? “I will never miss another dentist appointment,” she told reporters. “I will never reschedule.”

If you would like more information about routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Good Oral Health Leads to Better Health Overall.”