You only get one smile in this lifetime. Protecting your teeth and gums with adequate preventative measures, including regular visits to the dentist, will help to keep it healthy and beautiful as long as possible. For those who always have a busy schedule and have been thinking about delaying their next appointment, here are some reasons why time in the dental chair is so valuable.
Oral health problems worsen with time – always. A small cavity that could be treated with a simple inexpensive filling one day may decay further, requiring a much more expensive crown or root canal a few weeks or months later. During the checkup portion of your appointment, your dentist will look for these early indications of issues—before you even notice the symptoms—so they don’t have an opportunity to progress.
The other part of your regular checkup is a teeth cleaning — a more thorough one than what you can accomplish at home. Take plaque, for example. When not removed, the sticky, bacteria-laden film that forms on teeth and gums will harden into tartar, increasing your risk of periodontal disease. Your dental hygienist has tools and techniques to remove plaque from tough-to-reach spots, like near the gumline and the backs of teeth to eliminate this threat.
Your dental health impacts your general wellness. Studies have linked gum disease to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, for instance, which can cause a life-threatening heart attack or stroke. This is presumably because the same bacteria that cause inflammation in the gums can travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, including the heart and surrounding blood vessels. Your dentist can also identify signs of serious illness like oral cancer during a dental exam.