Regular dental checkups can assist in detecting minor issues, such as cavities or gum disease before they escalate into serious problems. The early detection of these issues makes them easier to treat with less invasive and more affordable procedures.
Prevents Tooth Decay
A key reason to make dental checkups a regular part of your oral hygiene routine is that they can catch problems in their early stages before they become more serious. This prevents invasive treatments and saves you time, money, and pain.
During your exam, the dentist will look for early signs of tooth decay by checking for gaps between your teeth and looking at the surface of your teeth with X-rays. If left untreated, cavities can lead to gum disease and tooth loss.
To avoid cavities, brush your teeth twice daily using fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and consume a balanced diet restricting sugary or acidic foods and beverages. However, even the most fastidious oral health routines can miss some parts of the mouth, particularly the hard-to-reach back molars. Visiting the dentist every six months ensures that these areas are adequately cleaned and helps you avoid complications.
Prevents Gum Disease
Many habits can cause severe oral damage, such as chewing ice, biting your nails, clenching your jaw, eating sugary or acidic foods, smoking, and brushing your teeth too hard. Dental care Montgomery TX enables dentists to identify and correct these destructive habits before they cause primary tooth or gum problems.
Patients, especially smokers, may overlook the initial stage of gum disease known as gingivitis, as early symptoms can be suppressed. Regular professional cleanings and dental exams are crucial for identifying early signs of gum disease. It’s essential to prioritize these appointments to maintain optimal oral health. This allows them to take necessary preventive measures before the condition worsens, leading to more severe stages, such as periodontitis.
Dentists will monitor your teeth, gums, mouth, and head and neck health during a routine checkup. They can look for abnormalities such as swollen lymph nodes or neck and thyroid gland inflammation that could indicate cancer or other serious illnesses. This early detection is another reason why regular dental appointments are so necessary.
Prevents Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a severe and potentially deadly condition that can be diagnosed early with regular dental visits. It affects the lips, gums, tongue, and throat area. Symptoms include painless spots or sores, numb mouth, and difficulty chewing or moving the tongue.
During routine cleanings, dentists are trained to spot potential symptoms of oral cancer in the form of plaque and tartar buildup. They can also feel around the mouth and throat to check for possible lumps or bumps. They may take a small brush biopsy (also known as scrape biopsy) of the area in question to obtain cells for testing to look for signs of pre-cancer or cancer.
Risk factors for oral and oropharyngeal cancer include prolonged sun exposure, tobacco and alcohol use, age, poor nutrition, and infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Early detection considerably increases long-term survival rates in cases of oral cancer. A routine oral cancer screening is part of every dental appointment.
Prevents Bad Breath
While many people may not consider dental visits a priority, visiting the dentist is one of the most essential things everyone can do to prevent future oral health problems. Regular visits allow the dentist to find issues that might otherwise be missed. When left untreated, these issues could turn into more severe problems down the road.
For example, bad breath, or halitosis, is often caused by mouth infections or gum disease. These can be found during a routine dental visit and are then treated. In addition, old restorations like bridges and crowns can begin to loosen and cause odors that are hard to remove with brushing or rinsing alone.
In addition to treating existing problems, the dentist can help prevent bad breath in the future by recommending certain foods and products. They also encourage patients to drink more water to keep the saliva flowing and wash away bacteria that may be causing problems.