If you have had healthy teeth and gums to this point, you might wonder whether it’s really necessary to take time out of your busy schedule twice per year to see the dentist. After all, you brush twice a day and floss every night before bed. Does it really matter if you see your dentist regularly? The answer is yes, dental appointments are important! Read on to find out why.
Catch Problems Early
While you’ve had good oral health to this point, there’s no guarantee that the trend will continue. Anyone can develop a dental cavity or even the early stages of gum disease (called gingivitis). While good oral hygiene helps you avoid these problems, they are not a surefire solution to all issues that might arise. If you do develop an area of pocketing in your gums or a tiny cavity, seeing your dentist every six months will help him or her find it quickly and get it treated right away. This can help prevent widespread gingivitis, gum infections, or bigger cavities, which could lead to the need for root canal therapy and other more invasive (and expensive) treatments.
You might not realize this, but your dentist screens you for cancer during your routine appointments. He or she looks for areas of thickening, lumps, or white or red sores. If you notice areas that are irritated or ulcers that don’t heal within two weeks, you should bring it to your dentist’s attention. Sometimes, however, the early symptoms of oral cancer aren’t apparent, so it’s important that your dentist takes a look to make sure nothing looks suspicious.
Prevent Health Issues
Did you know that your oral health is closely tied to other parts of your body? For example, people with diabetes are more likely to develop oral infections, including thrush, which is a fungal infection. And people with gingivitis might be more likely to develop heart disease. Your dentist is an important part of your preventative medical team; he or she can watch for signs of serious health issues and, if you already have a chronic condition, professional cleanings can stave off complications.
If you are due for one of your dental appointments or if you have any concerns about your oral health, please give us a call to schedule an appointment today.