Having to visit the dentist every six months may not be the appointment that everyone looks forward to or gets excited about, but it is one of the most important ones to keep. If you have found yourself wondering why you need regular examinations and cleans, we have got something for you to think about.
If you are considering skipping a dental examination, make sure to consider all the risks.
- Plaque, Tartar, and Cavities
Even with the most efficient 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, hardening and turning into tartar, which is extremely difficult to get rid of without a professional clean with the hygienist.
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 to the dentist to have cavities and other tooth problems treated. This can all be avoided with regular cleanings that take care of plaque and tartar before it becomes destructive.
- Gum Disease
Plaque and tartar build-up not only will cause tooth decay but can also erode the mouth’s gum tissues. This happens when tartar build-up 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(periodontal disease). There will likely be swelling, bleeding gums, 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. Teeth can become loose or fall out altogether.
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.
- Keeping Bad Habits in Check
There are many bad habits that can have a huge negative impact on your oral health, some of which you may not even realise are causing issues. Some of these habits include chewing ice, biting your nails, clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth, eating particularly sticky or hard sweets, brushing your teeth too hard, drinking coffee, red wine, and smoking.
When you go for regular dental examinations, your dentist can check for any damage caused by these or other habits which you may otherwise not have noticed. Being informed about specific destructive habits allows you to change or alter your lifestyle choice to prevent further damage. Visiting the dentist allows you to fix the damage that has already been done, and help your oral health be the best it can be.
- Find Problems Under the Surface with X-Rays
A crucial part of visiting your dentist is getting your teeth and jawbone x-rayed. X-ray images allow dentists to see what is happening beneath the surfaces of your mouth, and this allows them to 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 see without x-ray imaging. Finding these or any other major oral issues as soon as possible is critical to properly treat them.
- Head, Neck, Lymph Node and Cancer 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.
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.
Here at Grandis Dental we wish you a great year of oral health!