NOTE: Access to this information is not restricted; however, the information found here is intended for use by medical providers. Some videos contain graphic images. Patients should talk with their medical providers about any specific concerns.
Know the dental clinic policy for:
How patients gain access to the dental clinic.
Patients with any toothaches.
How to make appropriate referrals.
Gloves not required
Questions to Ask:
Are you having any mouth pain, including when eating?
Do you have any concerns about your teeth or mouth?
What is your usual oral care routine? (brushing, flossing, etc.)
If you wear dentures do you use them? If not, why?
When was your last dental exam?
Do you smoke or use oral tobacco?
If a patient smokes or uses oral tobacco, refer for tobacco cessation.
Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for gum disease.
Oral Exam Step
Have patient remove any dentures or partial dentures.
Have the patient open their mouth and then retract cheeks.
At the teeth for cavities, cracks, and chips.
For any obvious loose teeth.
For heavy tarter buildup, often seen on the tongue side of the lower front teeth.
At soft palate, hard palate, cheeks, and tongue.
At the right and left sides, comparing normal structures to abnormal, such as lumps, red spots, whitened areas, ulcerations.
For dry mouth (lack of salivary flow).
For gums that are firm and pink and fill the space in between the teeth.
Gum infections can look like swollen red gums, can have a purple hue and may be swollen. You may even notice some milkiness from suppuration.
For very long teeth where the roots are exposed.
This is evidence of previous history of gum disease.
If a patient uses oral tobacco:
Examine gums and oral mucosa where patient places tobacco.