I advise you to go for a dental check-up. The dentist might advise you to do scaling and polishing (routine dental cleaning, advisable to do every 6 months). During the examination, the dentist might take small (localized section) and/or big (full mouth) X-rays to see if you have any tooth decay in between the teeth or other problems such as tooth impaction, etc.
Dental cleaning usually is painless, however, you might feel sensitivity in certain areas due to cold water.
Dr. Chun-I Lee
The minimum would be a complete oral exam including checking for decay, periodontal disease, and mobility of your teeth with a complete set of X-rays and/or Panorex X-ray. In addition, a detailed review of your medical/dental history, taking of your blood pressure, and an oral cancer exam. Then, a treatment plan can be developed. In my opinion, you should start with a specialist, preferably a periodontist as it is most likely you would have some form of periodontal disease and we are best to handle this and also do what can be done, including LANAP therapy, to save your teeth.
Today, more than in the past, oral cancer screenings are important for early detection of tissue changes. We use a device called a Velscope, which can detect tissue dysplasias. A tissue dysplasia is an area were to the eye the tissue can look normal, while abnormal cellular changes are present. These areas appear different in color than other normal tissue when viewed through the velscope. Areas of dysplasia that remain chronically may become cancerous so early detection allows for minimally invasive treatment.
One other area of importance is periodontal health, that is the supporting tissue of your teeth; gums, bone around the teeth, and the periodontal ligament that holds your tooth in place. When plaque from food builds up around our teeth it creates a sticky substance called biofilm, which can harbor destructive bacteria and decrease your body's immunity to disease such as adult onset diabetes. There are many other systemic diseases that correlate to periodontal disease or as some of our patients say gum disease. Many people lose their teeth each year to periodontal infection.
A thorough periodontal evaluation and charting of periodontal pockets is an essential part of a comprehensive oral examination.
Dr. Joe Ferraro