3 things your dentist does that you had no idea about
- Oral cancer-
Oral cancers are part of a group of head and neck cancers and checking for them are one of the 3 things your dentist does that you had no idea about. They are particularly dangerous because they usually are not detected till a late stage. This group includes cancer of the lip, tongue, gums and oral mucosa.
The risk factors for the development of oral cancer include over-exposure to the sun, smoking, excessive use of alcohol and HPV. there is also a genetic factor.
The common symptoms may include:
- lumps or strange thickening inside the mouth or on the surface of the lips
- patches of either white or red or spots in the mouth
- numbness or loss of feeling in certain areas
- unexplained bleeding in the mouth area
If any of these symptoms appear or if uncertain it is crucial to contact your dentist immediately! At Cave Couver dental Dr. Ethan Schuman will examine you thoroughly and send you to the relevant medical care if necessary.
- Bite problems
Bite problems are a set of issues caused by your upper and lower teeth not closing properly. Some bite problems cause discomfort or even pain and others may cause serious damage to your teeth without your even knowing there is a problem.
If when closing your mouth tightly you feel discomfort- you may have a bite problem. Your dentist will do a series of checks to see where the discomfort originates- It can either be a problem with your bite in which case orthodontic intervention may be necessary or the origin may come from your jaw joint in which case you have a TMJ problem. another of the 3 things your dentist does that you had no idea about
- TMJ, TMD
TMJ or the Temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. Like all joints in the body when misused it may cause problems and pain when eating, chewing or even just yawning, these problems are called either TMJ or TMD.
common symptoms include:
- pain or discomfort when chewing, speaking or opening wide
- jaws that get “stuck” in an open or closed position
- swelling on the side of your face.
The pain is usually located in the jaw join area- right beneath the ear but can radiate to the neck and shoulder area.
Dr. Ethan Schuman will conduct a physical examination which will include making sure your jaw opens and closes properly. Sometimes full x-rays are necessary and referral to an oral surgeon, depending on the severity of the case.