7 Reasons Why You Need Regular Dental Checkups

Even the most fastidious brushers and flossers sometimes get a cavity, especially in hard-to-reach spots. A dentist can spot this before it gets out of hand, saving you from costly and painful treatment in the future.

A dentist will also look for signs of gum disease, oral cancer and other health problems that may be developing. They will check your mouth, tongue and throat for red and white patches and feel the tissue for any lumps or swelling.

1. Prevent Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can lead to serious oral health issues such as pain, infection and even tooth loss. The good news is that it is very preventable with a healthy diet, brushing and flossing regularly, and regular dental visits.

The main cause of tooth decay is bacteria buildup. This builds up on the surfaces of teeth, creating acids that eat away at the enamel and cause decay. Certain foods can also increase the risk of developing cavities, including ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, chips, cake and hard candy. Frequent snacking or sipping throughout the day gives mouth bacteria more fuel to create acid, which lingers on the teeth and wears down the outer layers. Eventually, the acid can reach the inner tooth material, which contains nerves and blood vessels, and lead to a cavity.

When you visit your dentist for a cleaning, they can remove any plaque and tartar that has built up on the surface of your teeth over time. They can also clean and polish your teeth, and remove stains. They can also give you a fluoride treatment, which helps strengthen your teeth and prevent decay. They can also examine your gums for signs of disease and screen for oral cancer.

2. Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused by bacteria that build up on teeth and in the gums, causing inflammation and irritation. If not treated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and bone damage. Regular dental checkups and professional cleanings can help prevent gum disease. A dentist or hygienist will remove stubborn plaque and tartar that brushing and flossing cannot always dislodge. They will also check for signs of gum disease, such as swollen or receding gums, and look for pockets around the teeth that are deeper than normal. To make sure that your kids have fun, get their teeth checked by a professional dentist like Palmetto Kids Dentistry.

During the exam, your dentist will also examine your soft tissues, including your lips and tongue. They will also take X-rays of your mouth to look for any hidden abnormalities or infections. They will also check for bad habits, such as biting your nails, chewing ice or smoking, that can affect your oral health.

Taking the right steps to prevent dental problems can save you from costly and painful treatments in the future. Visiting a dentist twice a year can detect early problems and keep them from worsening, allowing you to maintain good oral health for life. It can also reduce your risk of other serious health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

3. Prevent Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a serious and deadly disease that can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. It usually begins as a small lesion or sore in the mouth and can quickly grow out of control, especially if it goes undetected for long periods of time.

Fortunately, oral cancer is easier to treat when it is caught early. Regular dental checkups can help with this as dentists are trained to recognize early symptoms of the disease.

They can also perform a simple test to see if a lesion or spot is cancerous, which involves rinsing the patient’s mouth with blue dye. Normal cells will not take up the dye, while cancerous cells will. This is not a conclusive test, however, and further testing will be needed to determine whether or not the cell is cancerous.

Other ways to prevent oral cancer include avoiding tobacco products, reducing alcohol consumption, maintaining a proper diet, and getting regular screenings. By following these tips, you can significantly reduce your risk of oral cancer and other oral diseases.

4. Prevent Bad Breath

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Taking care of your oral health is one of the best ways to prevent bad breath and other oral diseases. Regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing with antiseptic mouthwash can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. In addition, eating a balanced diet, avoiding tobacco and sugary foods, and limiting alcohol use can also help.

A variety of factors can cause bad breath, including certain foods (garlic and onions), smoking and chewing tobacco, dry mouth, and certain medications. Your dentist can test your breath for odor-causing bacteria and check to see if you have any tooth decay, gum disease, or mouth sores.

A general infection in the throat or sinuses can also cause halitosis. To treat these problems, your dentist will probably recommend a course of antibiotics. Using mouthwash or chewing sugarless gum can also temporarily mask bad breath odours. However, the only way to permanently prevent bad breath is to follow good oral hygiene habits and to visit your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and exams.

5. Prevent Dental Implants

Dental implants are a permanent replacement for natural teeth and they look and function just like your own healthy natural teeth. However, they are not a “one and done” procedure, and they require regular dental visits to ensure their longevity.

During a routine dental visit, your dentist will examine your gums and teeth to make sure that your gum tissue is healthy and the bone supporting your tooth is strong. This allows your dentist to catch problems in their early stages and prevent them from causing serious damage or requiring invasive treatments such as root canals.

Gum disease can affect your dental implants and lead to looseness or even failure. During your checkups, your dental hygienist will clean around your implants with special tools that are designed for this care, helping to remove plaque and tartar in areas that you may not be able to reach with your toothbrush or floss. Your dentist will also use a special type of X-ray that focuses on your jawbone to check for signs of bone loss around the roots of your teeth.

Dental implants are a major investment, so it is important to make them last as long as possible. Having regular dental visits and maintaining good oral hygiene are the best ways to do this.

6. Prevent Tooth Loss

In addition to detecting and treating dental problems, such as cavities and gum disease, during routine checkups, dentists will also examine your mouth, jaw, and neck for signs of other health issues. This can include a variety of issues, including heart disease and other serious conditions. Gum disease, for example, has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease in patients. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to inflammation in the body that may increase the risk of heart problems. Regular dental checkups allow dentists to catch and treat these problems before they become more severe.

Gingivitis is a common form of gum disease that can cause permanent damage to teeth and gums if it goes untreated. Gingivitis is easily curable, but if it is left untreated, it can eventually turn into periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease that can damage your teeth and the bones that support them.

Regular checkups also give your dental hygienist the opportunity to remove any tartar that you may have been unable to get rid of with regular brushing and flossing. This will help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. Plus, your hygienist will have the chance to provide you with personalized recommendations for improving your at-home oral hygiene habits.

7. Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease, which affects the tissues and bones that support your teeth, can result from a buildup of plaque and tartar. Regular dental checkups allow your dentist to spot these problems early, before they become serious. They can also provide you with education and tips to help prevent gum disease.

Gum disease often doesn’t cause any pain, so it can be difficult to notice until the advanced stages. During a routine dental visit, your dentist will examine your gums for any signs of inflammation or bleeding. They will also look at the spaces between your teeth and gums, checking for any gaps that may indicate gum recession or damage from gum disease. Your dentist will also use a tool to measure the depth of your gum pockets, as well as other areas that cannot be reached by brushing or flossing.

Regular dental exams can also help prevent bad habits, such as smoking and drinking excessive amounts of coffee or red wine, that can lead to oral health issues. Your dentist can help you find ways to break these bad habits, so your mouth is healthier and happier.

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