Have you ever wondered why you need to visit the dentist at least every six months? Do you really need to have a checkup this frequently? Unfortunately, oral health issues develop quickly, and a regular checkup leads to catching them early on. But why are preventive care and early detection so important? Here are three reasons why you want to find oral health problems as soon as possible.
Early Detection Can Help You Avoid Tooth Pain
Even though teeth are small and can withstand immense biting force, they can also cause excruciating pain. When acids from harmful bacteria and acidic foods erode the tough enamel protection, the more sensitive layers become exposed. In other words, a cavity forms.
At first, a cavity may not necessarily hurt; in fact, you may not notice it at all on your own. Eventually, however, the cavity delves deeper into the tooth where the nerve is located. At that point, you can be downright miserable with pain. But if your dentist has the opportunity to examine your teeth on a regular basis and take X-rays, they can keep a close eye out for early signs of decay and address the issue while it’s still small and not hurting you.
Early Detection Can Help You Avoid Tooth Loss
It starts out as red, puffy gums that slightly bleed when you brush. In the beginning stage, called gingivitis, gum disease is fairly easy to treat and get rid of, but this condition can cause more serious damage than you may think. If it goes untreated, gum disease ultimately leads to gum recession, jawbone deterioration, and tooth loss. By having your dentist routinely watch out for the early signs of this disease, you ensure that it doesn’t progress to the point of permanently damaging your smile.
Early Detection Could Save Your Life
Did you know that oral cancer is the sixth most common type? Overall, it has high mortality rate, not because it is particularly difficult to treat but because it is often discovered in later stages of development. However, when it is diagnosed and treated early, patients can have up to a 90 percent survival rate. Fortunately, oral cancer screenings are part of your routine six-month checkup with your dentist, increasing the chances of identifying cancer as early as possible.
In addition, gum disease can have a direct impact on your overall health. In fact, many studies have found that having this oral disease drastically increases your chances of experiencing a cardiovascular event like a heart attack or stroke. Gum disease has also been linked to poorly managed diabetes, kidney disease, and Alzheimer’s. Allowing this condition to progress only harms your body and even potentially puts your life in danger.
In the end, your dental visits are about more than just cleaning your teeth; they also allow your dentist to inspect your mouth for signs of trouble. If they find something amiss, they can take care of the problem sooner rather than later when it becomes harder to fix. It’s worth putting in a little bit of time with preventive dentistry to catch issues now so that you can keep smiling in the future!
About the Author
For nearly 25 years, Dr. Dan Greenwood has served individuals and families in the Sagamore Hills area and beyond. Although he is trained and proficient at many complex dental procedures for advanced oral problems, he also provides routine services that prevent those problems from occurring in the first place. If you are due to have a dental checkup and cleaning appointment, you may contact our office by clicking here or by calling us at 330-467-2522.