If you are considering skipping your next dental checkup because of cost, not having the time or because of dental anxiety, you should first consider all the risks you open yourself up to by missing out on time in the dentist’s chair.
Regularly visiting the dentist allows him/her a chance to pick up on early signs and symptoms of dental conditions, that otherwise untreated could have a serious impact your dental health and your wallet. Here are some of the most important reasons why you should see your dentist regularly.
6 Reasons You Need Regular Dental Checkups
1. Oral Cancer Detection
Oral cancer is an extremely serious disease as its symptoms present themselves in a number of ways. Without knowing the oral cancer warning signs, it is often not diagnosed before it has reached its advanced stages, where it becomes life threatening.
The early stages of oral cancer diagnosis is often easily treatable, therefore, it is important to see your dentist, who is highly trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of oral cancer. The exam is non-invasive, pain-free and consists of a few minutes of shining a special light into the mouth.
2. Head, Neck, and Lymph Node Checks
In addition to checking your mouth, gums, and tongue for signs or oral cancer, your dentist will also check your neck, jaw, and lymph nodes, located just below your jawline, for any swelling, lumps, or other abnormalities. An abnormality could be a sign of a major health issue, which your dentist will alert you to and refer you to the appropriate medical professional.
3. Plaque, Tartar, and Cavities
No matter how thorough your daily dental routine is, there are still small areas in the mouth where plaque builds up. Without professional dental cleanings, the plaque solidifies, turning into tartar, which can erode teeth and create cavities.
There are no real warning signs for developing cavities. You may only experience a small ache once the tooth is already decayed. When the damage has been done, the only solution is to have the cavity cleaned and filled by a dentist. However, this can all be avoided with regular cleanings that take care of plaque and tartar before it becomes destructive.
4. Gum Disease
Plaque and tartar buildup are also responsible for eroding the mouth’s gum tissues. Tartar buildup can cause an infection where the gum is connected to the tooth, making the gum pull away from the tooth. This infection is known as gingivitis in its early stages and progresses to gum disease once the tissue starts to break down and the gums receded from the teeth.
Other symptoms of gum disease include swelling, bleeding, or soreness in the mouth. Severe gum disease also causes a breakdown of the bone that holds teeth in place, which can result in the loosening or loss of teeth.
Treatment for advanced gum disease is expensive and requires a patient to see a dental specialist for surgery, extremely deep cleanings, and medication. However, gum disease can be prevented through regular dental cleanings that catch and address gingivitis before it progresses.
5. Keeping Bad Habits in Check
Bad habits, such as chewing ice, biting your nails, clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth, eating particularly sticky or hard sweets, brushing your teeth too hard, drinking coffee and red wine, and smoking all have a negative effects on your oral health.
When you go for regular dental checkups, your dentist can check for any oral damage caused by these or other habits. Your dentist will be able to fix the damage as well as advise on how you can change your lifestyle choices to prevent further damage.
6. Dental X-Rays Uncover Hidden Dental Issues
A crucial part of your regular check up is getting your teeth and jaw bone x-rayed. These dental x-rays allow your dentist to see what is happening beneath the surfaces of your mouth, so that they can identify and treat issues that are invisible to the naked eye.
Dental issues that form below the surface of the mouth include impacted teeth, bone decay, swelling, cysts, or tumors. Destructive diseases that show little to no symptoms, but progress quickly, can be treated in their early stages when dentists carry out regular dental x-rays.
Book your next dental check up at Holladay Dental Excellence. Our staff are highly trained and able to give you the best dental care to ensure your oral health is never an issue.