Dental problems like cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease are inextricably linked to x-rays. These images are used by a Skokie, IL dentist to diagnose dental problems and treat dental infections. They also allow dentists to get an overview of the complete oral health of their patients. That being said, everyone should be aware of how these x rays work and what they can tell you about your oral health.
X-rays are used to take an overall look at the teeth, gums, and jaw. The purpose of x-rays is to not only detect cavities and infections but to take an overall view of the health of the patient’s teeth and jaw. What they show is a reflection or image of the inside of your teeth. However, most people do not know that x-rays also reflect off the walls and roof of your mouth, giving dentists even more information about your teeth.
Here are what x-rays help to reveal:
- Abscesses or cysts
Abscesses or cysts are those areas that have hardened around a tooth. This is usually the result of decay or infection in the area. The x-rays can show the cavity or infection as well as abscesses or cysts formed by hardened tissue around it.
- Broken or cracked teeth
One of the hardest areas of your teeth to see are those that are broken or cracked through to the gum line. The dentist will break down these pieces with a scalpel and snap them off. X-rays will then be used to determine any additional problems in these areas, such as decay that may have gone unnoticed in your regular cleaning.
- Bone loss
X-rays can see the condition of your jaw and can pick up areas that are suffering from bone loss and show if there are any problems with the roots of your teeth as well. Any of these will show up as dark spots on an X-ray film and can indicate a tooth that needs to be pulled before it becomes infected or even falls out.
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
Both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors can show up on x-rays. So, x-rays are used for the diagnosis of cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
- Decay between the teeth
X-rays can also reveal decay that has grown between the teeth. This type of decay is not apparent in a regular cleaning, which is why the dentist often suggests x-rays if you have tooth pain but no symptoms of cavities.