Few people put visiting the dentist on their list of top 10 favorite things to do. But did you know that regular dental appointments are good for both your oral and overall physical health? Here’s why it’s best to take a proactive approach to your dental care.
Dental Cleanings Do What Brushing and Flossing Can’t
Professional dental cleanings eliminate plaque, tartar, and stains that have built up on your teeth. Even if you regularly brush and floss your teeth and gums, tartar can form over time. Most dental professionals recommend in-office cleanings every six to 12 months, which helps minimize buildup and lessens the chance of gum disease occurring.
X-rays are Important Preventative Tools
Dental x-rays help your dentist discover, diagnose, and treat conditions not typically visible to the naked eye:
- Decayed and fractured teeth.
- Teeth, gums, and jawbone infections.
- Jaw joint disorders.
- Conditions affecting the head and neck.
- Abnormalities in tooth development.
- Tumors and cancers.
- Post-traumatic injury jawbone damage.
And this is just a short list of some of the conditions your dentist might discover. Obviously, x-rays play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy mouth.
Early Detection is Key for Gum Disease
Approximately 65 million Americans have some form of gum disease. Because most people are unaware that they have the condition, periodontal screenings, or gum evaluations, performed by your dentist are instrumental in early detection and treatments which can significantly improve your outcome.
Most Serious Dental Problems are Preventable
Oral disease affects nearly 4 billion people worldwide, and untreated tooth decay or cavities affect almost half the world’s population! They’re also the most common chronic disease in children—5x more common than asthma and 7x more common than hay fever.
Dental problems are definitely not fun. The good news is that most of them can be easily prevented. Regular at-home maintenance like twice daily brushing and flossing, a proper diet, and regular checkups are essential in preventing dental problems.
Your Overall Physical Health is Related to Your Oral Health
Oral health is key to general health at every stage of life and regular checkups often provide the first indication of a physical health problem. For example, certain mouth ulcers can signal Crohn’s or Celiac disease; pale and/or bleeding gums can suggest a blood disorder; and changes in tooth appearance could indicate an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Educating yourself on how oral and general health are interlinked is essential for developing an appropriate oral health care routine.
Schedule Your Next Checkup
An ounce of prevention goes a long way in protecting both your oral and physical health. Talk to your dentist about how often you should have dental checkups. Every six months is the standard, but some people, especially those with more serious oral health problems, need more frequent checkups.
In the meantime, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your smile and your body in great shape. Brush twice a day regardless of your oral health concerns. Floss at least once and use a mouth rinse. To schedule an oral checkup and learn more about how your dental health is related to your physical well-being, contact Caven Dental today.