Rebecca L. Pounds, DDS

425 First Avenue, Suite 3
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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Oral Health Screenings in Pittsburgh

Most people don’t think of routine dental exams as life-or-death events, but they actually might be. With 120 systemic diseases showing symptoms in the mouth, that semi-annual exam might mean the difference between detecting a serious illness early and letting it linger.

Oral bacteria can have a significant impact on the body because they can leach into the bloodstream after they colonize your mouth. These bacteria can spread infections, impact your immune response, and damage cells throughout your body—causing potentially life-threatening complications. For these reasons, periodontal disease and gingivitis have been tied to a large range of different health problems, including dementia, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and even some kinds of cancer. Fortunately, you can keep your entire body healthier by visiting your dentist in Pittsburgh for an oral health screening.

Oral Health Screenings

The health of your mouth affects your entire body, and illnesses throughout the body can show signs in the mouth. By keeping an eye on your oral health, Dr. Pounds safeguards your general health as well.

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What Happens During an Oral Exam?

If it's been awhile since your last routine exam, you might be wondering what to expect. Here's a step-by-step explanation of how oral exams are conducted and a few tips for making the most out of your visit.

Before your exam, you'll be asked to update your medical and dental history. This step is important because certain illnesses, medications, and traumatic injuries can affect your future dental treatment. During this step of your exam, you should also talk with Pittsburgh dentist Dr. Pounds or your hygienist about any dental problems you have been having.

Next, your teeth, gum tissue, cheeks, and tongue will be examined closely for signs of trouble. An explorer tool will be used to check for cavities, and a periodontal probe will be used to check the laxity of your gum tissue. This step helps your hygienist to know which areas to focus on during X-rays and deep cleanings.

After your teeth are examined, we'll take a series of X-rays to look for underlying decay and damage. This step may not be necessary if you aren't experiencing dental problems or you have a set of recent X-rays on file.

Next, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned to remove plaque and tartar deposits. Using special dental instruments, your hygienist will gently scour away buildup that has accumulated on and around the teeth.

After the bulk of the plaque and tartar has been removed, your hygienist will use a special rotary toothbrush and a mild abrasive toothpaste to polish your teeth. After the teeth are polished, they'll be flossed to remove dislodged plaque and debris.

Fluoride helps to strengthen dental enamel on a molecular level, which is why most dental exams end with a fluoride treatment in the form of a mouthwash, gel, or varnish.

After your teeth are clean, Dr. Pounds will conduct a thorough final review of your teeth, gums, and oral tissues. If Dr. Pounds suspects that problems require a deeper analysis, she may order additional x-rays or other tests to evaluate the problem. Any anomaly will be investigated and follow up visits will be scheduled for additional treatment.

Schedule Your Oral Health Screening Today

By taking great care of your teeth and scheduling routine oral health screenings, you can ward off problems and enjoy a healthier life. Schedule your next oral health exam today to find out how dentistry in Pittsburgh can help you to protect your health.