When is it time to see your oral surgeon for an exam?
Although your family dentist can assist with your periodic oral health exams and maintenance, some symptoms call for scheduling an appointment with our office instead.
Don’t let too much time pass if you experience any of the symptoms listed below. Although most are not typically serious, you’ll be better off detecting any potential problem as early as possible. Besides, a thorough evaluation of your oral health can detect other unknown or underlying conditions.
See an Oral Surgeon if You Have Jaw Pain
If you have pain or discomfort in or around your jaw joints, this could indicate an issue such as temporomandibular joint disorder (commonly known as TMJ or TMD).
Even if you are not yet experiencing chronic pain, issues related to the TM joint can result in serious problems.
See us also if you are grinding or clenching your teeth, or if you have experienced a serious injury related to your jaw, head or neck. Any of these factors can lead to TMD. Other symptoms include locking in the jaw; tenderness in your face, neck or ears; clicking or popping sounds when you eat or yawn; and facial swelling.
Unexplained Mouth Sores Require an Oral Surgeon Exam
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 48,000 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer in 2016, and more than 9,500 of these patients will die as a result.
If you have a persistent sore in your mouth that doesn’t go away after two weeks, it’s time to call for an appointment.
The oral surgeon will check every area of your face, neck and mouth, looking for irregularities that could be signs of oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer. The earlier these cancers are caught and treated, the better the chance of successfully battling the condition. Once the disease spreads, the survival odds go down significantly.
While you are here, we will teach you how to conduct an oral cancer self-check at home so you can be proactive in your quest for great oral health.
If You Still Have Your Wisdom Teeth, See an Oral Surgeon
Few people can keep their wisdom teeth — also known as the third molars — successfully. And the sooner they come out, the healthier you and your mouth will be. If you have not yet had your wisdom teeth removed, especially if they are impacted, contact us today to schedule an exam.
These specific oral health issues aren’t the only problems the oral surgeon can address during your exam. Your oral surgeon can diagnose many systemic diseases, including microbial infections, immune disorders, diabetes and heart and kidney disease.
For example, bad breath or dry mouth could be an indicator of diabetes. Dental X-rays could reveal the first stages of bone loss from osteoporosis. Changes in the tooth enamel could be a sign of an acid reflux problem or eating disorder. And pain or discomfort in the jaw could signal an oncoming heart attack.
If an oral surgeon can diagnose issues like these allowing for early treatment, why wait to schedule yours?
Contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, with locations throughout the greater Salt Lake City area, to schedule your oral surgeon appointment today.