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It can be easy to ignore our teeth and gums because they seldom give us trouble. The downside with that attitude is that tooth and gum problems take time to become obvious. You could have a gum problem or a bad tooth that bothers you enough to see a dentist. By that time, you may be in the early stage of gum disease, or you have a cavity. A regular dental checkup can prevent that sort of thing or catch the problem when it is easy to fix. Here are four reasons why regular visits to the dentist are so important.  

Reason 1 – Protecting Gum Health 

Gum disease, also known as periodontitis or periodontal disease, is an underrated threat to the average American’s long-term health. Bad gums lead to bad breath, loose teeth, and infections that can spread. This can happen because, over time, plaque and tarter build up in your mouth, including on teeth below the gum line. Plaque buildup can be minimized through good oral hygiene, which is why dentists constantly talk to patients about brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. 

Without regular care and dental checkups, plaque bacteria damage the gums and erode the bone at the base of your teeth. This leads to loose teeth and then tooth loss. The Mayo Clinic also points out that bad bacteria in the mouth can, over time, strain your immune system. If your immune system is weak for any other reason, periodontal disease can make matters worse.  

Preventative care is always best. But, if you have symptoms of gum disease, be sure to schedule a dental appointment as soon as you can. Things like bad breath, tender gums, gums that bleed after flossing, and receding gums are all signs of gum disease.  

Expert dental care is an essential part of keeping your gums looking firm and pink, the signs of good health. A good oral care routine, along with checkups will also help prevent painful and annoying tooth problems, including cavities. 

Reason 2 – Preventing Cavities 

This is the dental health problem most people probably think of first when they think of visiting the dentist. Cavities are uncomfortable to deal with and cost money to treat. Worse, they damage the tooth and can, over time, result in tooth loss. Finally, fillings do not last forever and can be damaged, resulting in more danger to that tooth. You could need a root canal and crown, or you may need to have a tooth pulled.  

Professional cleaning removes plaque and tartar that people can seldom get rid of at home. Flossing helps, and so does daily brushing and regular use of anti-plaque mouthwash. Nothing you do at home is a complete replacement for a regular dental checkup and cleaning because plaque buildup and tartar are almost impossible to remove completely at home.  

Reason 3 – Increasing Confidence 

Good gums and teeth are important to your physical health. If that isn’t enough to get a regular checkup and do your preventative maintenance, remember that good teeth and healthy gums can make you feel better about yourself.  

Chronic bad breath and stained teeth can make a person very self-conscious. A good smile and healthy teeth make a person feel better. If people feel better because of their healthy smiles, they are going to be a little more confident in daily life. A good smile with clean teeth and healthy pink gums are proof that you take good care of yourself. That feeling could help you adopt and keep other healthy habits or kick a bad habit like smoking.  

Reason 4 – Detecting Oral Cancer 

Oral cancer is an issue most people do not think about much, or at all. However, this is a risk everyone faces to some degree. Lifestyle factors and family history can increase your risk as well. Your dentist or dental hygienist may suggest an oral cancer screening when you go in for your regular cleaning and checkup. The procedure is quick and painless and maximizes the odds of catching cancer while it is still relatively easy to treat.  

If you go for a couple of years with a tumor growing in your gum or tongue, it may have to be treated with potentially disfiguring surgery or an aggressive round of chemo and radiation. You can also talk to your dentist about your risk of developing oral cancer due to genetic or lifestyle factors while you are in for that annual dentist checkup. 

Regular Dental Visits are Essential 

A regular dental checkup is a terrific way to avoid some unpleasant, even dangerous, issues with your teeth and gums, including oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth loss. If you or your child are overdue for a visit to the dentist, please get in touch with Smile Dental to schedule a dentist checkup soon.  

 

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