There are a number of reasons why visiting the dentist every six months is essential. Skipping dental appointments may not seem like a big deal, but oral issues can develop and progress extremely quickly whether you notice it or not. These are some of the reasons why regular checkups are important, courtesy of your Smile Design Studio team.
SCREENING FOR ORAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
Dental checkups offer your hygienist and dentist the opportunity to screen for abnormalities in the mouth, such as oral cancer. Also, tooth pain and gum disease are two conditions that can be detected and dealt with when you go in for regular checkups. Gum disease does not only affect your mouth; it can affect your whole body.
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.
Not only do specialists require more appointments and likely a blow to your wallet, but the treatment of gum disease, depending on the severity, can include surgery, extremely deep cleaning, and medication. To avoid all of this, regular dental cleanings are essential in catching and addressing gingivitis before it gets out of hand.
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 which can help 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 tumors, all of which are impossible to see without x-ray imaging. Finding these or any other major oral issues as soon as possible is critical to treat them properly. 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.
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 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 prevented with regular cleanings that take care of plaque and tartar before it becomes destructive.
A cleaning appointment is also more affordable than getting a filling, so if money’s tight you should make sure not to miss the cleanings!
With all that said, are dental checkups worth the effort? They most definitely are!
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 more significant 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.
By keeping on top of your dental cleanings and checkups, you’re doing yourself a big favor in the long run.