If there is one checkup people like to skip, it’s their twice per year visit to the dentist. Even though dental checkups aren’t painful, people seem to equate the dentist’s office with pain. And if a person isn’t dealing with any dental issues or experiencing any pain, they are even more likely to skip it. As with any medical checkup, this is not the best idea. You always want to catch issues before they start! If you can find issues before they start, this is less expensive and most certainly less painful. A deep cleaning will be less stressful than a filling! Let’s take a look at eight reasons why you shouldn’t skip your twice-yearly cleanings and checkups with your dentist.
1) Oral cancer screenings
Cancer can develop in any person at any time. Oral cancers are complicated to treat in their later stages. Once those cancers progress, they become life threatening. Treatment is usually painful and disfiguring to an individual’s jaw and face. Keeping up with regular exams means catching these cancers before they have a chance to spread. The exams are quick and painless. If a dentist finds cancer, any treatment a patient needs will be less invasive and less likely to disfigure their face.
2) Removing plaque and tartar buildup
No matter how good a person is at brushing and flossing, there will always be spots of plaque buildup. There are just some areas of the mouth that a person struggles to reach. The crevices on the molars can be a particular challenge! Your regular checkups can help take care of that. If plaque is not removed, it turns into tartar. Tartar is more difficult to remove than plaque, and it can cause more decay on your teeth. Regular checkups help take care of that. During your checkup, the hygienist and dentist make sure your teeth are free from all plaque and tartar. They can also help you with tips to get those hard-to-reach areas.
3) Catching and treating gum disease
Plaque and tartar are not the only culprits of cavities; they are also the main culprits of gum disease. If gum disease isn’t caught early, it will progress and cause loose teeth and bone loss. Once the disease progresses past a certain point, your dentist is not able to treat it and will have to refer you to a specialist. Anytime you have to see a specialist, this means the cost of treatment will astronomically increase. It is possible that the only way to fix the problem could be surgery. Seeing your dentist for regular visits means the disease will be caught in its early stages when it’s easier and less expensive to treat.
4) Catching problems early with diagnostic x-rays
One part of your regular exams are x-rays of your gum and jawline. These x-rays go under the surface so they can see if there are any issues not visible to the naked eye. If there are issues brewing, your x-rays will catch them before they become more significant problems. These x-rays can help spot impacted teeth, bone damage, cysts, tumors, and many other medical issues, all while they are in their beginning stages.
5) Assessing the damage from bad habits
People have so many bad habits, many of which can affect your oral health. Teeth grinding, chewing on the inside of your cheek, smoking, coffee & wine drinking, and chewing ice are all examples of bad habits that are pretty common within the public at large. All of these bad habits can have a negative impact on our oral health. Regular visits can help your dentist minimize the damage done because of those bad habits. During your checkup, your dentist will also give you some advice on how to break those habits.
6) Checking your head, neck, & lymph nodes
During your regular dental exams, your dentist checks for any abnormalities around your jawline, lymph nodes, neck, and anything else in that immediate area. If you skip your dental checkups, you miss out on this essential part of your healthcare. This check could discover anything from cancer to an undetected issue with your thyroid. Every disease can be treated better when caught at an earlier stage. This can find many diseases before a person even knows there is something wrong.
7) If you have chronic health conditions (like diabetes)
For those who suffer from chronic health conditions, like diabetes, regular checkups are of the utmost importance. Chronic health conditions can affect every part of your body, including your teeth and gums. Getting regular checkups can help your dentist give you the best advice based on your particular chronic health issue. Having a chronic condition means you will be affected by things differently than those without that condition. The bacteria from gum disease could be even worse for you than a fully healthy individual. Keeping up with your dental exams means your dentist can help you stay on top of what a person with that condition needs to do for ideal gum health.
8) If you are pregnant
Pregnancy affects every part of your body, even your teeth. The hormones that are elevated during that time can cause tenderness and even gum disease. Don’t skip any of your visits while you are pregnant. Your dental health is even more critical at that time. Keep a close eye on your teeth and gums, and book an appointment at the first sign of any bleeding or discomfort. If you never had gum diseases or cavities before your pregnancy, it is possible that your pregnancy hormones could trigger those issues.
Even if the dentist isn’t your favorite place to go, don’t skip these crucial health visits. Dental exams can catch many oral health issues before they become painful and expensive problems. Dental exams can even find other underlying health issues unrelated to one’s dental health. Go ahead and book your two yearly exams if those aren’t on your calendar for the year. Your health will thank you.
Book an appointment with your Leawood Dentist Today!