How’s your mouth feeling right now? Does something ache, or seem different? If so, it would make sense to schedule a dental visit in the new year. Unfortunately, though, picking up the phone and booking an appointment is not easy for some people. And while this is common, it costs people dearly in the long run.
The truth is, avoiding dental work or bi-annual dental cleanings means that you’re putting more than just your mouth at risk for health problems. Skipping dentist visits can have direct ties to your overall health.
The Importance of Dental Cleanings and Checkups
A few crucial things take place during a routine six-month dental visit. First, your hygienist will clean your teeth, which removes the excess plaque buildup that contributes to many dental issues. They will also share with you tips for proper brushing and flossing techniques that will help you make the most of your home care routine.
Next, we will screen you for concerns such as periodontal (gum) disease, oral cancer, tooth decay, and cavities. All of these issues are most successfully treated in their earliest stages, allowing you to utilize less invasive treatment procedures.
The Whole Body Connection
As more information emerges, we understand more about how oral health is linked to your overall health and well being. We now know that the same bacteria that cause gum disease can also contribute to other health concerns such as diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and vice versa.
Being proactive about your oral health and treating gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease) as soon as possible means that you are also being proactive about your overall health.
The Cost of Missing Dental Treatment
Preventive care appointments like your six-month cleaning and checkup will also help you avoid costly dental treatment procedures. For example, if I detect decay in your tooth, if you are proactive about treatment, you’ll be able to treat the decay with a simple dental filling.
If the diagnosis is left untreated, the decay will progress, cause further damage, and could reach the nerve of your tooth. Not only is this condition painful, it requires the more invasive procedure of root canal therapy to preserve your tooth because if your tooth is not treated at this point, it may need to be extracted to protect your other teeth and jawbone.
Your health is too important to ignore or risk! Go to your six-month preventative appointment, or schedule it now if it’s time.