When you get that check-up reminder on your phone or via letter, it can be easy to assume that all that will occur is a simple sweep of your teeth and gums to look for cavities.

And if you are like most people, you will assume that a quick scrub around in your mouth with a top-notch toothpaste will be enough to fool your dental practitioner about your dental habits. Unfortunately, you are wrong!

A dental team can spot more during a check-up than you may think, and while we will always check for signs of decay and gum disease, we will also be looking and spotting other important indicators too!

At Byfleet Dental Boutique, our dentist in West Byfleet is proud to be your first line of defence against gum disease and tooth decay, but there is much more to a simple examination of your teeth than you may be aware of. And so, if you have missed a biannual dental check-up due to the pandemic or other issues, you need to book one today!

So, what exactly can our dentist in West Byfleet tell about you just by looking at your teeth? Read on to find out!

If you smoke

First things first, it doesn't matter how much you use whitening toothpaste, our dentist in West Byfleet will be able to spot if you are a smoker.

Smoking not only makes your teeth look yellow during a dental check-up, but it also causes your gums to recede and any plaque in your mouth to look brown. If you want to quit the habit but need some help, talk to our team about smoking cessation.

How often you brush

Remember how we said that a general scrub of your teeth in the days leading up to your check-up wouldn’t fool our team?

This is because, if you have misaligned teeth or any missing teeth, plaque will accumulate in areas that are tougher to reach with a toothbrush and unless you brush your teeth twice a day every day, that plaque will remain. If you suffer from stubborn plaque, our team can offer you a deep clean or a scale and polish to remove it and reduce the chances of decay and gum disease from developing.

Signs of ongoing disease

There are many diseases and conditions which impact your teeth and gums, so it's no surprise that our team at Byfleet Dental can spot them at a check-up.

If you have a chronic condition such as osteoporosis or are undertaking chemotherapy for cancer, this will show up during a dental check-up, as your jaw bone may be thinner or your gums may be receding. Of course, if we spot any signs of oral cancer during a check-up, we will send you for further tests.

Your lifestyle

Do you consume a lot of sugar and fizzy drinks? No fibbing-we will know!

Once again, discolouration of the enamel and excess plaque levels in your mouth will alert us to your sugar intake.

Nothing is more ominous than a strange lump in your mouth.

And while it is usually nothing to worry about, if you notice a lump or bump in your mouth, you should get it examined by a member of our dental team as soon as possible.

We know that nobody likes to consider the ‘big c’ as it were, but when it comes to oral cancer, it is one of the easiest cancers to treat if it is detected early. And as oral cancer rates are growing across the world, in part due to smoking and in part due to better screening, making an appointment to see our team could be the difference between a simple treatment or a more drawn out one.

At Byfleet Dental Boutique, we take oral cancer very seriously and will always encourage any patient to visit us immediately if they are worried about a lump, bump or odd feeling patch in their mouth. As part of our regular dental check-ups, we offer all patients oral cancer screening and will always refer you to a specialist if we have concerns.

But what are some of the signs to keep an eye out for in relation to oral cancer? Our dentist in West Byfleet recommends checking for the following 5 at least once a week as part of your oral hygiene regime.

Cold sores that won’t heal

Usually caused by stress, cold sores can be a nuisance.

But if you suffer from cold sores that don’t heal or come back regularly (once a month), then you need to see our dentist in West Byfleet. Of course, it may be that you are under a great deal of stress or have underlying medical issues that aren't cancerous, but it is best to be safe in these issues, so contact us if you have any worries.

Recurrent mouth ulcers

Like the cold sores, if you have mouth ulcers that no amount of mouthwash seems to get rid of, you need to see our team.

If the mouth ulcers grow to the size of a 5 pence piece or larger, you may want to go straight to your nearest hospital.

Ear pain

The mouth and ears are connected via a set of nerve endings, so if you suffer from frequent ear pain, it may be worth coming to us for oral cancer screening.

Ear pain could also point to an impacted wisdom tooth or infection, so it's best to be preventive with any of these issues to avoid discomfort and secondary complications.

Difficulty swallowing

Oral cancers can start at the back of the mouth, so if you notice that it is harder to swallow food, it could be a sign of oral cancer. Contact our team promptly if it is gradually becoming tougher to swallow food too.

White or red patches

Any white or red flat patches in your mouth require examination and are one of the earliest signs of cancerous cells. If you spot them, call our team immediately!

When you have recently had a dental infection, you may be worried about it coming back.

After all, not only are dental infections very painful to experience, they can also cause damage to the bone and tissues in the mouth and, of course, an emergency dental appointment is usually needed to at least get the associated discomfort under control.

And, if you are like most people, you may feel that the only way to truly prevent an infection from recurring is to have the offending tooth removed. But if the tooth is one of the front teeth, this is far from practical and can create a secondary aesthetic issue.

There is a solution; endodontics or a root canal can prevent the recurrence of an infection without the need to remove the tooth and has a 96% success rate over 15 years.

And yet, as our dentist in West Byfleet is aware, few patients actually want to undertake a root canal, despite the obvious benefits it can provide. At our surgery, we have helped hundreds of people restore their smiles aesthetic and hygiene with a root canal and can attest to the success of the procedure long-term.

Still not convinced that root canal is the answer to your infection woes? Here are some reasons to reconsider it as a viable option from our dentist in West Byfleet.

Restores the tooth

Post-infection, your tooth may feel a bit sore and sensitive and you may wonder if it will ever feel ‘right’ again.

With a root canal, our dentist in West Byfleet will be able to restore the strength and functionality of your tooth; by removing the infected debris, packing the tooth and sealing the treatment with a crown or filling, your tooth will be as strong as it ever was and will feel normal to bite and chew with. Great stuff!

Prevents infection recurrence

While an extraction may seem like the ultimate answer to treating an infection, it may actually encourage another one to start.

After all, a hole in your mouth can act as a breeding ground for bacteria, and with the longer-healing time that comes with an extraction, it can be a more uncomfortable and prolonged infection than the initial one. Yikes! A root canal clears away the infected debris and with the skilled hand of our team, it will ensure that the infection does not spread into surrounding bone or soft-tissues.


Of course, a key benefit of a root canal is the aesthetic one; the tooth can stay in your mouth and is topped with a porcelain crown or filling. So, nobody will know you have had any procedure performed and there is no gap to attract unwanted attention. Perfect!


An extraction can prompt plenty of secondary costs. The gap in your smile will need to be filled with a suitable prosthetic, and this will usually involve a dental implant or a fitted bridge, both are exceedingly pricey and could be avoided with a simple root canal!