The important role dentists play in our overall well being is often taken for granted until we have a sore tooth or something else goes wrong with our mouth that causes pain or general discomfort.
Every part of your body is connected and a problem with just one small part of your body can throw the rest of you out of whack. For example, have you ever noticed how miserable you feel when you have a toothache? Your head hurts, there’s loss of appetite, and you just want to crawl into a dark corner and wish your sorrows away.
But by visiting your dentist as often as required, most problems with your teeth or mouth in general can be discovered and checkmated before they lead to full blown misery.
When you visit your doctor for a physical examination, he/she checks you from top to toe. If anything seems out of place, the doctor will recommend the necessary medicine to help you put to rest a problem you didn’t even know was there. The dentist does the same for you.
By visiting your dentist twice a year, and not just whenever you feel like it in a decade, you can effectively get help with the following;
1. Detecting and Preventing Plaque, Tartar, and Cavities
Contrary to what you might think, your tongue is not the only lively entity in your mouth. There are millions of organisms thriving in there and not all of them wish you well. By brushing your teeth, flossing, and eating healthy, you make your mouth a less habitable place for most of these unhealthy organisms.
But no matter how well you brush or floss, it’s never completely good enough because there are some secret areas in your mouth that your brush can’t reach and these organisms can thrive in. These organisms can multiply and become evident as a buildup of plaque or can even lead to cavities.
But by paying your dentist a visit for check-ups, he/she will be able to give your mouth a look over and a thorough cleaning that will get rid of any secretly growing plaque as well as prevent cavities from forming.
Regular check-ups and professional cleanings are significantly less costly and painful than what you would have to go through to get rid of tartar or cavities. So think twice before dodging your dentist.
2. Detecting Oral Cancer
A major cause of oral cancer is smoking. But just because you aren’t a smoker doesn’t necessarily mean that you are in the clear.
Oral cancer is a fatal disease with varied symptoms. Most of the symptoms are ignorable to non-professionals like you but a qualified dentist will know better once he/she sees the symptoms. By noticing the symptoms and catching oral cancer in its early stages, treatment that can actually cure you can be provided. But this is only possible if you visit your dentist for regular check-ups.
By monitoring your dental health, your dentist can help you avoid becoming a fatal prey of oral cancer. And you need not worry because the process of checking for oral cancer is fast and painless. You won’t even know it’s happening or has happened unless you ask.
3. Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease is not something you should toy with. It’s caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar which can lead to symptoms such as soreness, bleeding or swelling gums, and even teeth loss. While such symptoms sound bad, they are actually not the worst damage that gum disease can cause.
Gum disease is caused by buildup of bacteria in the mouth which is evident in the form of plaque. According to Dr. Cecilia Luong of Tiger Smile Dental of Baton Rouge, “…if these bacteria are absorbed through your gums into your bloodstream, they can cause a variety problems ranging from heart disease, to cancers, dementia and erectile dysfunction.” Having even one of such ailments can be a burden but you can fortunately avoid them by keeping gum disease in check through bi-annual dental check-ups.
If you choose to dodge a dentist and wait till gum disease becomes full blown, you are going to spend a lot more getting your teeth into shape as the doctor might need to perform an extremely deep cleaning or even surgery to restore your oral health.
4. Deeper examination
Not every problem that occurs in the mouth can be seen with the naked eye. This is why dentists perform x-rays.
During your every six month visit, the dentist will x-ray your jawbone and teeth to see if there’s anything suspicious going on beneath the surfaces of your mouth. This will help them diagnose any subtly growing problems and effectively nip it in the bud before it blossoms into a clear and present danger.
Example of problems that can be caught with an x-ray include bone decay, impacted teeth, swelling, jaw bone damage, tumours, or cysts. Now, you can actually look and feel glam from the inside out without any pains or worries underneath the smile.
5. Checking your neck, head, and lymph node
During a bi-annual examination, your dentist will also check your jaw, neck, and lymph nodes for abnormalities. An abnormality in such places can be sign of a major health issue. Swollen lymph nodes might not hurt but could be a symptom of certain kinds of cancer or disease that require prompt attention.
6. Keeping you well behaved
If you are naughty and have bad habits that can negatively impact your oral health, your dentist can point out the damage being caused and advise you as necessary. Such common bad habits include; chewing nails or ice cubes, grinding teeth, clenching jaw, eating sticky or hard sweets, smoking, and not brushing enough.
So do you now have a bit more respect for your dentist and what he/she does for you?
If you do, start taking your biannual dental check-ups more seriously so you can enjoy not just better oral health, but also happier overall wellbeing.