How Your Oral Examination May Help Identify Early Health Problems

Posted on: 26 September 2016

Checking for mouth lesions and problems is an important part of your dental checkup. Dentists are often the first ones to notice if there's something going on with your oral health. Lesions can mean a lot of different things form benign problems with your teeth or serious problems such as cancer. Here are some things your dentist looks out for when they do your oral examination and some of their possible causes.

Problems with alignment:

Some mouth sores are completely harmless, but may indicate that your teeth are out of line. You may be rubbing your teeth against the side of your mouth without even knowing. Perhaps you bite the side of your mouth or your lip from time to time. If these problems come up infrequently, then they're probably nothing to worry about. If you're constantly having problems, say biting almost every day or a few times a week, then you may want to think about having your teeth straightened or aligned.

Indication of health issues:

Some types of sores and discoloration may be a sign that you are struggling with another health issue. Diseases which show up in the mouth can range from anemia to lupus. Some problems only cause a minor discoloration and bumps, such as cold sores or canker sores. Other problems can indicate serious viral diseases that may not directly affect the mouth including measles, diabetes, celiac disease, and sexually transmitted diseases which may not appear present elsewhere, but will show up as lesions in the mouth.

Cancerous lesions:

Oral cancer sometimes shows up as a lesion or severe infection in the mouth which won't go away. Some lesions are unnoticeable and easily overlooked by the average person, and others can be larger and more unusual-looking. They appear anywhere in the mouth and may have associated pain. Over time, these lesions could get large enough to where they interfere with eating and talking. If caught early, they can be easily treated and removed. In advanced stages, more aggressive treatment, including removal of some of your teeth, may be required.

Chances are, you probably have some kind of lesion or skin imperfection in your mouth. With regular checkups, you and your dentist can make sure that these issues stay minor. Your dentist will recognize potentially life-threatening problems just by looking at your mouth and gums. If it's been a while since you've seen the dentist, or you're having a problem with a painful lesion that won't go away, then stop in and see a dentist, such as Gregg Mond DMD, as soon as possible for an examination.