Few people enjoy visiting the dentist, but regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums, no matter how vigilant your oral care regimen. The American Dental Association recommends going to the dentist once or twice a year but notes that others may need more frequent visits.
Why You Should Visit The Dentist Every Six Months
While brushing and flossing are important to good dental hygiene, it’s not enough to prevent all dental problems. Visiting the dentist every six months reduces the chances of many dental health issues from developing, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Regular dental visits can also help spot problems at their earliest stages before you’ve even noticed. Catching dental health issues early is important because treatment is more likely to be simpler and more affordable.
Common Dental Health Problems That Can Go Unnoticed
Tooth decay is damage that occurs when bacteria in your mouth make acids that erode your teeth. Tooth decay can lead to cavities, or holes in your teeth, and cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. Many cavities, however, don’t produce any symptoms at all. Leaving cavities untreated for a long time can result in painful and expensive complications. Routine visits to the dentist can help detect developing cavities and treat them before further damages to your teeth or surrounding gum tissue occurs.
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. Symptoms can include red, swollen, and tender gums that may bleed when brushing. Gingivitis occurs when plaque, or bacteria, accumulates on the surface of the teeth. When plaque is not removed adequately, it can harden and become tartar, which only a dentist can remove. Plaque and tartar both irritate the gums, causing gum inflammation and contribute to tooth decay. Regular dental exams can help prevent gingivitis from developing or progressing to much more serious gum disease.
Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, or gum disease, and cause permanent damage to teeth and gums, including the destruction of tissue, bone, or both. Symptoms of periodontitis can include swollen or puffy gums, gums that feel tender, gums that pull away from your teeth, and bad breath. Periodontitis can progress without pain and thus often goes undetected. Damages from untreated gum disease can be very serious. In fact, periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss. Regular cleanings and checkups can help identify and prevent periodontitis as well as prevent future damage if you are in the early stages of gum disease.
Don’t wait any longer. Periodic dental exams are crucial for oral and dental health. Contact us today and schedule an appointment for a dental exam before it’s too late!