Experts recommend that you schedule a dental exam roughly every six months for preventative oral care. That means making an appointment twice a year to have your teeth cleaned and checked by a pro, even if you aren’t having any problems. Sometimes, patients ask, “Is it really necessary to have a dental exam?” If you always brush your teeth and you are careful to floss properly, is it that bad to forego a dental cleaning from a dental hygienist? What might happen if you skip a dental exam?
No matter how meticulously you brush your teeth, you won’t match the kind of professional clean that you get at the dentist’s office during a dental checkup. That’s because there are so many hard-to-reach areas in the mouth. Plus, plaque, tartar and stains can be nearly impossible to remove without professional tools and techniques. Plaque and tartar are composed of bacteria. Even with routine brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar will develop. When they are allowed to linger, there are real consequences. For example, their presence can set the stage for bad breath. Mints may cover the problem for a while, but they won’t fix it.
When plaque and tartar build up along the gum line, they can irritate and inflame the gum tissues. This can set up a vicious cycle that leaves them more vulnerable to attack from bacteria. It can also put you at risk of pain, bleeding gums and tooth loss.
Cavities are weakened, decayed areas that form tiny holes or pits in a tooth. They often form beneath a layer of plaque or tartar. Missing a dental cleaning gives the plaque and tartar to linger longer which gives cavities more time to form. Remember, one of the major functions of a dental exam is the exam by your dentist. If you skip it, these trouble spots will fester longer before they’re caught. The more time in between dental exams can be costly. After all, problems that are caught early are generally easier and more affordable to fix than issues that have been allowed to progress.
If plaque and tartar are left on the tooth and gums, it can lead to gingivitis. If left untreated, issues with a tooth or the gums surrounding it become severe, it can turn into periodontitis. When this happens, it can cause tooth decay and tooth loss if not treated in a timely manner.
Few people spend much time peering at the inside of their mouth. However, if abnormalities are spotted during a dental checkup, it could also save your life. While one American dies every hour from oral cancer, most of these cancers are highly preventable if they’re caught early. Your routine dental cleaning is a great time to have expert eyes check your mouth over for warning signs that could save your life. Why not take advantage of it?
Keeping up with your dental exams protects your smile, your oral health and your overall wellness. At Wekiva Dental, we know that a healthy, beautiful smile can enhance your health, self-image and quality of life. That’s why we’re so passionate about delivering the best cosmetic and general dentistry services at every dentist appointment. Are you ready to schedule a visit? Contact us today at 407-869-7333 to schedule a consultation.