when was the last time you went for dental check up?
Can’t remember? That’s understandable, it’s a rare person who looks forward to those appointments.
But it is hard to overstate the importance of regular checkups; sure they may be a bit of a hassle, but these regular checkups are well worth it, since detecting and preventing a problem early on can save you a lot of time, money and probably more than a bit of pain down the line.
If you find yourself thinking about skipping your next dental visit because of some minor inconvenience, here are a few reasons you should definitely consider penciling that check up back in to your schedule:
- Detecting oral cancer– Oral cancer is a malignant disease that can manifest itself in a number of ways. It often goes un diagnosed and quickly progresses to be painful and life threatening. However, if detected early enough, it is often easily treatable. Your dentist will perform a VEL-scope exam to see if there is dead tissue in your mouth because of tumors. The procedure is pain-free, non-invasive and takes just a minute or two.
- Tartar, plaque and cavities – Even if you are a fastidious brusher and flosser, there are areas in the mouth that remain inaccessible. Plaque buildup can turn into tartar, which is difficult to get rid of without the help of professionals. Regular cleaning sessions prevent tartar from creating holes in your teeth (cavities). Once cavities form, you will need to spend a lot more to get them filled. So, you stand to save a lot by just making sure you don’t miss those cleanings.
- Gum disease –Plaque buildup also erodes gum tissue. Tartar can cause an infection where the gum is connected to the tooth, thereby dislodging it from the gum-line. This is known as gingivitis, and it eventually causes the gum tissue to break down. Once it reaches this stage, you will most likely experience bleeding, swelling, and soreness in the mouth. Gum diseases can also cause a breakdown of the bone that holds the teeth in place. The treatment of gum disease can include extreme deep cleaning, surgery, and medication; becoming more complex to cure the longer it goes untreated.
- Keeping bad oral habits in check– Whether it is chewing on ice, clenching your jaw, biting your nails or grinding your teeth, eating hard or sticky sweets, drinking red wine or coffee, or smoking, there are a number of bad habits that can adversely impact the health or aesthetics of your teeth. A regular dental checkup is the best way to assess the oral damage caused by these habits and fix them before they get worse.
- Finding subsurface problems with X-Rays– X-Ray images allow dentists to see what is happening underneath the surface of your mouth. They can diagnose problems that are invisible to the naked eye, including impacted teeth, damage to your jawbone, bone
decay, cysts, swelling and tumors, all of which are impossible to detect without X-Ray imaging.
Biannual checkups and up-to-date X-Rays are the best way to stay on top of diseases under the surface.
Your, dentist is not just concerned with fixing your teeth, but also ensuring the health and hygiene of you entire mouth. They also make sure your home oral hygiene routine is sufficient and might make suggestions if you’re missing out on crucial factors (you’d be surprised how many people don’t floss regularly).
However even with a good routine, many problems can develop without presenting immediately detectable symptoms.
A dentist visit can help detect these conditions well before they really impact your life, ensuring not just enduring oral health, but something perhaps even more valuable; peace of mind.