Regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. And in between those examinations, it’s important that you work to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. If you need additional help, your dentist may even suggest more frequent visits.
Dentists and dental professionals are not only concerned with fixing teeth. They professionally clean your teeth, aim to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy, and check for abnormalities that may otherwise go unnoticed and could be a sign of larger health issues. Dental professionals make sure that your bones are strong, and will help you correct any habits that may be sabotaging your oral health, among other things.
Skipping dental appointments may not seem like a big deal, but oral issues can develop and progress extremely quickly whether or not you notice it. By keeping on top of your dental cleanings and checkups you’re doing yourself a big favour in the long run.
Important reasons why you should see your dentist regularly:
Oral Cancer Detection
Oral cancer is an extremely serious disease that manifests itself in various ways. Without knowing the signs of its early onset, oral cancer is often not diagnosed and can quickly progress and become life threatening. But thankfully, an early stage oral cancer diagnosis is often easily treatable.
Plaque, Tartar, and Cavities
Even with the most diligent daily brushers and flossers, there are still small areas in the mouth that are missed by a regular brushing and flossing. When plaque builds up it becomes more difficult to remove, solidifying and turning into tartar, which is extremely difficult to get rid of without professional help.
Regular dental cleanings prevent tartar from eroding teeth or creating holes in them, which is how cavities are created. Cavities rarely give any warning signs as they form, only resulting in a small ache once the tooth is already decayed. Once the damage has been done, you will have to go back to the dentist to have cavities and other tooth problems filled and fixed. This can all be avoided with regular cleanings that take care of plaque and tartar before it becomes destructive.
Plaque and tartar buildup not only cause tooth decay but can also erode the mouth’s gum tissues. This happens when tartar buildup causes an infection where the gum is connected to the tooth, making the gum pull away from the tooth. This infection is known as gingivitis and as it progresses the tissue that attaches gums to the teeth breaks down.
Once it reaches this point it is officially gum disease, and only at this point will there likely be any swelling, bleeding, or soreness in the mouth. Along with the breakdown of gum tissue, gum disease also causes a breakdown of the bone that holds teeth in place. At this point it is common to see teeth loosening or falling out altogether and drastic treatment methods will have to be taken by a dental specialist.
Find Problems Under the Surface With X-Rays
A crucial part of visiting your dentist every six months is getting your teeth and jaw bone x-rayed. X-ray images allow dental professionals to see what is happening beneath the surfaces of your mouth, and can find and diagnose issues that may be invisible to the naked eye. Problems like this can include impacted teeth, which are growing teeth that are blocked from pushing through the gum line, as often seen in wisdom teeth.
Damage to the jawbone can also be pinpointed as well as any bone decay, swelling, cysts, or tumours, all of which are impossible to actually see without x-ray imaging. Finding these or any other major oral issues as soon as possible is critical in order to properly treat them.
Especially with destructive diseases that show little to no symptoms but progress quickly, up-to-date x-rays and bi-annual checkups are the best way to keep on top of your health.
EFFECTS OF NOT GOING TO THE DENTIST REGULARLY
Patients who neglect proper care of their mouths by not regularly seeing a dentist, risk not only getting tooth and gum disease, but they also risk getting diseases and illnesses in other parts of their body. Some major health conditions related to oral health include heart disease, diabetes, stroke and breast cancer.