PUBLISHED IN TCI WEEKLY NEWS
February 22nd 2014
Going to the dentist is an important part of maintaining good overall health and goes well beyond just your teeth. Many health issues are connected to poor dental health, ranging from simple bad breath to more serious issues such as heart problems. Sometimes there is an obvious reason to visit the dentist, such as pain, but there may be problems in your mouth that you are not aware of and it is only through regular visits to a dentist that these will be detected. The sooner a problem is diagnosed, the easier and usually cheaper it is to treat; the longer a problem goes undetected in general the more serious the consequences. The general recommendation is to have a dental examination annually and a professional cleaning every 6 months.
Prevent gum disease
Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss but also has widespread implications for general health. Initially detected by bleeding, sensitive or painful gums, as the severity increases it leads to loss of bone and teeth, and has been linked to numerous systemic illnesses, including diabetes, and heart and lung disease. Regular visits to the dentist and professional cleanings will prevent gum disease.
Discover early signs of cavities.
Tooth decay (cavity) is caused by acid-forming bacteria that dissolve the enamel of your teeth, causing holes and dark spots. If not treated in the early stages, decay will eventually reach the nerve resulting in pain and the need for root canal or extraction. Gum disease, lack of consistent oral hygiene, and poor diet can increase the risks of getting cavities. The earlier decay is discovered, the easier and simpler the treatment will be.
Check for oral cancer
Nearly 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year alone. Oral cancer has a relatively high mortality rate because it is not usually found until the later stages, when it is particularly difficult to treat. During a dental examination, your dentist will check for anything unusual, including signs of oral cancer. Early detection can save lives.
Reduce the likelihood of dental emergencies
Seeing your dentist every six months, means any problems are detected and treated early, before they turn into emergencies. It’s far easier on your stress levels, and generally less painful and costly to deal with issues at the onset, rather than later on when treatments become complex and expensive.
Cleaning and oral health maintenance
Regular checkups are a vital part of maintaining overall good oral health. As well as brushing and flossing you should also see your dentist regularly to ensure your oral health stays in great shape. Getting in a routine and sticking with it is not hard- most dental clinics will call to remind you- and it is in the best interests of both your mouth and the rest of your body that you do so.