Have you visited your dentist yet this year? Regular dental visits are vital to maintaining proper oral health, but unfortunately, many people put off going to the dentist until there is a problem. However, dental appointments are not just for when there is an emergency or dental issue. Regular dental exams can help spot problems early on, and in some cases, prevent them from occurring altogether. Keep reading to learn about four reasons why you should visit your dentist regularly.
REASON #1: REGULAR DENTAL VISITS CAN HELP PREVENT CAVITIES
Cavities occur when a build-up of dental plaque eats away at tooth enamel and creates a small hole. Plaque is a thin, sticky film of bacteria that forms on the surface of your teeth. Sugar-filled sodas, processed foods and acidic food and drinks can all lead to tooth decay and eat away at tooth enamel, causing cavities. If detected early, your dentist can perform a dental filling procedure to save your tooth and prevent further decay.
If they are left untreated, cavities can cause an infection called a tooth abscess. Untreated cavities can also destroy the tooth pulp (or inside of the tooth). If this occurs, the tooth may require removal.
REASON #2: REGULAR DENTAL VISITS CAN HELP PREVENT GUM DISEASE
People can experience gum disease when they do not promptly remove plaque from their teeth. Plaque build-up results from a lack of cleaning, brushing and flossing. Without removal, this plaque can harden and form into a substance called tartar. Professional dental cleaning is the only way to remove tartar.
Keep in mind that gum disease is slow to progress and often painless. Therefore, if you do not visit the dentist, you may not realize you have an advanced stage until it is too late. Gum disease can cause gum and bone structure deterioration and eventually tooth loss. If you would like to learn more about the dangers of gum disease, check out our blog, Gum Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention.
REASON #3: REGULAR DENTAL VISITS CAN HELP TREAT SENSITIVITY
Sensitive teeth result from either worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots. Other factors such as cavities, cracked teeth, worn filling, or gum disease can also lead to tooth sensitivity. The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) found that more than 12 percent of patients experience sensitive teeth.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, contact your dentist to schedule an appointment. The sensitivity could be a sign of more than just worn-down enamel. For instance, you could have a cavity or abscess that isn’t visible yet. Your dentist will determine the exact problem and will be able to guide you in the best direction for treatment. If you would like to learn more about tooth sensitivity, check out our blog, Sensitive Teeth: Causes, Treatment and Prevention.
REASON #4: REGULAR DENTAL VISITS CAN SCREEN FOR ORAL CANCER
Oral cancer is a rapidly progressing disease that can occur in the oral cavity or the oropharynx (middle region of the throat). Statistics show that men are twice as likely to develop it as women. Smoking and excessive alcohol use increase your risk of developing oral cancer. Furthermore, the American Dental Association (ADA) states that once you have had oral cancer, you may be at an increased risk for it again.
Without early diagnosis and treatment, oral cancer can be deadly. Therefore, you should always discuss any new oral changes or symptoms with your dentist. At an appointment, your dentist will examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer. This examination includes your lips, cheek lining, gums, the front part of your tongue and the bottom and roof of your mouth. Your dentist will also check your throat, jaw and neck for anything abnormal.
READY TO SCHEDULE YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT? VISIT THE LANDING DENTAL SPA
The ADA states that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dental treatment. Some people need to visit their dentist every six or twelve months, while others should visit the dentist more frequently. Pregnant women, smokers, diabetics, people with gum disease, people with a weak immune response and people prone to cavities are all considered high-risk and should visit the dentist more often. Your dentist will discuss your unique situation and recommend how often you should schedule an exam.
If you do not have a regular dentist, visit us at The Landing Dental Spa. Our goal is always to go the extra mile to make sure your appointment isn’t just bearable, but that instead, it is enjoyable! If you are ready to book your next dental appointment, give us a call at (304) 594-2200 or use our online contact form. We look forward to seeing you soon!