Five Things You Didn’t Know That Your Dentist Checks

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Five Things You Didn’t Know That Your Dentist Checks
Five Things You Didn’t Know That Your Dentist Checks

You’ve made an appointment to see your dentist. Whether you are going for your regular hygiene appointment or if it is your first appointment with a new office, you are probably expecting the dentist to see you and discuss any problems or issues that he might find. And while most people know that the dentist will look for the usual suspects such as cavities and maybe you even be familiar with gum disease, there are a number of other issues that you may not be aware of that we look for here at Credit River Dental. While the list is quite extensive, for this article we will limit it to 5 things dentists check for that you may not have known they were checking.

Oral Cancer

During your complete examination, we will perform an oral cancer screening and check for any swollen lymph nodes, any unusual looking growths or lesions on your gums, your cheek, your palate, the back of your throat and your tongue, especially the sides.


Your dentist also looks at your tonsils and the back of your throat. Enlarged tonsils can be a sign of infection, but they can also pose an airway problem in both adults as well as kids if they are larger than normal.  While it is uncommon for tonsils to be removed these days, it still provides us information about your health.


Your tongue, believe or not, can give us a lot of information about not only your oral health, but your overall health in general. By looking at your tongue, we look at things such as the size, the colour and the texture. Your tongue can provide information about conditions such as a fungal infection, a Vitamin B or folic acid deficiency, oral cancer, lichen planus, even diabetes or even whether you grind your teeth or not.  The position of your tongue can also pose a hindrance for your breathing in your sleep.

Jaw Joint

Your jaw joint or as it’s otherwise known, the Temperomandibular joint, connects your lower jaw to your skull. Unfortunately, the joint like any other joint in your body is susceptible to having problems. Jaw joint issues aside from possibly causing a lot of pain and discomfort, can also impact your bite, and lead to uneven tooth wear. If there are changes to your bite, we will discuss with you what the possible causes are and what your options are to treat the situation if necessary. This can vary from a protective guard to orthodontics.

Sleep Disordered Breathing

Here at Credit River Dental, we screen all our patients for sleep disordered breathing because you can not tell who has or doesn’t have it just from looking at them. This group of conditions includes sleep apnea and is a major health concern in society. Why you ask, are dentists looking at sleep disordered breathing? First of all, people with sleep disordered breathing tend to grind their teeth in their sleep and secondly, we usually get a very good look at your airway and down your throat for prolonged periods of time. The position of where your tongue sits and the size of your tonsils can also impact your airway.

During your regular check ups, aside from the xrays, checking for cavities and fluoride treatment, and the hygiene appointment there is so much more that we look for here at Credit River Dental Centre.  In fact much more than just the 5 things listed above. Find out more from any of our other patient education blogs at Our goal is ensure all aspects of your teeth, mouth and jaws are clean, healthy and in good working order to help improve the chances you will be able to maintain not only good oral health but good overall health for a lifetime. If you have any questions about an upcoming examination or other dental related questions, please feel free to contact Credit River Dental Centre at 905-278-4297 or email us at