Radiographs or x-rays are sometimes necessary to expose problems that are not viewable or diagnosable by the naked eye.
Here at Curtis Couch D.D.S in Thousand Oaks we will always recommend coming to see us for a check-up, which sometimes can include a dental x-ray. A lot of the time we have patients ask us why a dental x-ray is necessary for them, in which case we always tell them that it can expose problems that we cannot see (although we may suspect).
Today we’re going to discuss 5 things which a dental x-ray can tell us.
Cavities beneath the gum line
Cavities generally show as black shadows on your x-ray. This can give your dentist a gage on how severe the infection is and in some cases can make a difference between getting a filling or performing root canal therapy. The dental x-ray will show how severely the roots are affected and how deep the infection is.
Why would it be recommended: If you have notified your dentist that you’ve been feeling pain in the jaw or beneath your gum this can be a symptom of a deep cavity. If your dentist notices a significant cavity in the surface of your teeth they may also recommend an x-ray.
If your gums are inflamed and you have severe plaque then your dentist may examine further for periodontal disease. Gum disease manifests as dark shading around the bottom of your tooth roots in the gum. A healthy gum will look a pale grey while a diseased gum will look dark around the roots.
Why would it be recommended: If you have other symptoms of gum disease like inflamed and sensitive gums as well as general tooth pain and severe plaque. You are at higher risk of this if you smoke.
Impacted teeth such as wisdom teeth
This is a common problem which affects a majority of people. A dental x-ray will determine if your teeth are growing correctly below the surface and when it comes to your wisdom teeth this is extremely important. Most people’s wisdom teeth grow on an angle towards their healthy teeth which is dangerous and potentially painful. Impacted wisdom teeth will be exposed even if they have not yet surfaced so you can get them removed as soon as possible. For wisdom teeth removal in Thousand Oaks please contact Curtis Couch D.D.S.
Why would it be recommended: If you have noticed your wisdom teeth surfacing or if you have pain in the back of your mouth your dentist will recommend this – especially if you are between 17 and 25 years old.
An x-ray may be recommended to look inside an abnormal growth. This can help diagnose oral cancer or in some cases benign growths.
Why would it be recommended: If your dentist notices an abnormal growth or a change in colour or texture in a small part of your mouth.
The effects of smoking
Smoking is a vaso-constrictor which causes the contraction of blood vessels and reduces the effectiveness of circulation. This therefore decreases blood flow to gums and bone as well as the roots of your teeth. This can slowly kill your teeth by depriving them of blood and eventually they can fall out. If you are a smoker then it’s important that you receive a regular x-ray to keep the health of your teeth intact. Of course (although we cannot force you) you should make an attempt to quit smoking if you want healthy teeth.
Why would it be recommended: If you are a smoker, especially if you smoke a lot of cigarettes a day. This may also be recommended if you have authority to use medical marijuana.
For more information on dental x-rays please contact Curtis Couch D.D.S in Thousand Oaks, CA. We can also perform x-rays as part of a Thousand Oaks dental check-up.