Everyone has their reasons for skipping their dentist appointments or not even book them at all. It may be anxiety of being in the dentist’s chair, the fear of the cost or even the fear of finding out that you may have cavities! No matter what your reasons are, regular dentist appointments are extremely important and it goes far beyond checking for cavities.
1. Oral Cancer Detection
A dentist can detect Oral Cancer in it’s early stages. In Canada 5,400 Canadians will be diagnosed with oral cavity cancer, and according to statistics, 1500 of patients diagnosed, will die. Oral Cancer is an extremely serious disease that manifests itself in various ways. Without knowing the signs of its early onset, oral cancer is often not diagnosed and can quickly progress and become life threatening. The painless exam catches invisible signs of unhealthy tissue formed by cancer.
2. Plaque, Tartar, and Cavities
You may think you are a thorough brusher but you would be surprised, with even the best brushing and flossing habits, howfast and how much plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth and gums. Regular dental cleanings prevent tartar andplaque from destroying the gums and eroding teeth or creating holes in them, which is how cavities are created. You may not even know you have a cavity forming until a hole is created. This can all be avoided with regular cleanings that take care of plaque and tartar before it becomes destructive. A cleaning appointment is also more affordable than getting a filling, so a cleaning appointment can actually save you money!
3. Gum Disease
Plaque and tartar buildup not only cause tooth cavities but can also erode the mouth’s gum tissues. The most common first stage of gum disease is Gingivitis. Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums, or gingiva. It commonly occurs because a film of plaque, or bacteria, accumulates on the teeth and gums. It is common to see teeth loosening or falling out with progression of gum disease. Sometimes more advanced treatment methods will have to be taken by a dental specialist to slow down the progression of the disease.
Treatment of gum disease, depends on the severity, can include surgery, deep cleaning, and medication. If diagnosis happens early, and if treatment is prompt and proper, gingivitis can be successfully reversed.
If gingivitis is not controlled it will progress into irreversible periodontal disease and can lead ultimately to the tooth loss.
5. Keeping Bad Habits in Check
Do you, bite your nails, clench your jaw, grind your teeth, eat particularly sticky or hard sweets, brush your teeth too hard, drink coffee and red wine, or smoke?
If so, you could be causing damage to your dental health. A professional will be able to detect this damage early and help you keep your bad habits in check, again saving you money in the long run!
5. BEYOND THE TEETH
In addition to checking your mouth, gums, and tongue for signs or oral cancer, your dentist will also check your neck, jaw, and lymph nodes, located just below your jawline, for any swelling, lumps, or other abnormalities. If an abnormality is found it could be a sign of a major health issue, and your dentist will alert you to it and refer you to the appropriate medical professional.
Dental check ups go far beyond a cleaning or a cavity count. They are a crucial part of keeping your overall health in check. Regular check ups can seem inconvenient or expensive but they can save you money, your health and can possibly even save your life!