You’ve always heard that regular dental checkups are important, so you proceed to your dentist dutifully every six months, like clockwork. The results are never earth-shattering; maybe a new cavity or a filling that needs replacing. Every once in a while you might need something more involved like a root canal or crown, but for the most part, you get your cleaning and X-rays, rinse, spit and are on your way.
Why You Need Regular Dental Checkups
You’ve probably considered skipping the twice-yearly appointment. Maybe your schedule is tight, your finances are low or your anxiety is high. Whatever the reason you have for asking yourself, “Do I need to see a dentist regularly?”, the answer is a resounding “Yes!!” Here’s why:
1. Plaque, Tartar and Cavities
When you have a cavity, it doesn’t take long to start hurting. Left unchecked, you may end up needing a painful and costly remedy. When you visit your dentist every six months, you stay ahead of complications. A simple cavity can become serious–and painful–real quick. Your regular cleanings remove plaque and prevent it from turning into the more difficult to remove tartar. Both of these bacterial conditions contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.
2. Gum Disease
Once plaque and tartar seep toward the gumline, they wreak havoc on the gum tissue. As gum tissue begins to erode, you experience swelling, bleeding and pain. Not only that, but when bacteria seeps below the gumline it can eat away at the bone tissue and cause your teeth to become loose. Finally, once it enters the bloodstream, there’s a chance that the same bacteria can cause heart damage.
3. Finding and Addressing Hidden Issues
X-rays are a necessary component of regular dental checkups. X-rays allow your dentist to see what’s going on below your gums. Bone decay, tumors, swelling and cysts, as well as teeth that haven’t erupted and may cause issues (such as wisdom teeth), are all detected via X-rays.
4. Head, Neck and Lymph Node Check
Dentists regularly check for any abnormalities in the neck, head and lymph nodes that are along the jawline. While swollen lymph nodes don’t always cause pain, they can indicate the presence of diseases such as cancer. Passing up your regular dental checkup could literally mean the difference between life and death.
5. Detection of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a very serious disease and your dentist is the first line of defense. If oral cancer goes unchecked it can quickly become life-threatening. However, caught early, oral cancer is highly treatable. When you see your dentist regularly you lower your risk for developing oral cancer.
As you can see, regular dental check-ups go a lot further than just cleaning and X-rays and your dentist is concerned with a whole lot more than filling cavities. If it’s been more than six months since your last dental checkup, contact Howl Dental today.