Dr. Powell, one of the top dentists in the Hickory and surrounding area, explains why regular teeth cleanings are so important to our healthy beyond having a squeaky clean smile. Many people make the mistake of skipping or postponing their oral check-ups because we tend to call them “cleanings,” and people believe the appointment is merely a chance to have their teeth more thoroughly scrubbed like a car detailing for the mouth. However, much like mammograms and annual visits with your primary care physician, your dentist is doing much more during these visits than making sure you floss daily. The truth is, many diseases and other health concerns show up in the mouth before they cause irreparable harm.
Discovering The Start Of Disease
There are many diseases that show up first in the mouth and will require a trained professional to spot them. You may already know your dentist checks for signs of gum disease and tooth decay, which can lead to bacterial infection and tissue loss or bone loss, not to mention bad breath and sensitivity to hot and cold foods. However, your dentist is looking for much more at every appointment.
Oral cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Chron’s, and rheumatoid arthritis are just some of the diseases your dentist is checking for during each visit. The earlier these health problems are found the more likely you are to have effective and affordable treatment options. Since symptoms of these health concerns often appear in the mouth before they can be found elsewhere in the body, your dental check-up is arguably one of the most important steps you can take in preventative care.
Halitosis (Bad Breath)
Bad breath can be socially isolating and hurtful to your self-esteem. It can stem from a variety of causes, such as the foods we eat, acid reflux or poor oral hygiene. When your dentist examines your mouth, he or she can determine the source of the bad breath and explain all of the treatments available.
Acid reflux, certain foods, medications, and grinding or clenching your teeth, can result in tooth erosion. Your tooth enamel protects you from experiencing sensitivity, chipping, cracking or cupping. Dental check-ups are the primary method of finding the damage before it has become a bigger problem requiring a more involved procedure to repair.
Another reason for tooth erosion is poor alignment. This is also a common source of facial pain, earaches, and headaches. The great news is your dentist can offer custom-fit night guards and other easy solutions to reduce or even eliminate this erosion and discomfort.
Did you know your dentist can offer help with snoring? A good night’s rest is crucial to performing at your best at work as well as in your home life. When you and your spouse have difficulty getting enough sleep due to snoring or tooth grinding, your dentist will be able to discuss the latest developments in snoring reduction. Get the restful deep sleep you need by talking to your dentist to learn more at your next check-up.
With all that can go wrong in your mouth, you may be relieved to know your dentist is taking steps to protect your teeth and gums. From a good top to bottom scrubbing and professional level fluoride applications to adding a layer of sealant barrier, your routine dental appointment is all about detection and prevention. Dentists may have to repair damage from time-to-time, though their main objective is to avoid having to take such measures.
Saving Money And Other Rewards
By coupling regular dental appointments with following your doctor’s recommendations, you will experience improvement in your physical health, social connections, and overall confidence. While flashing that healthy bright smile may be reward enough, you can also get excited about avoiding the physical discomfort and emotional distress that come with unchecked damage, not to mention the money and time you saved. True, you do have to pay for regular oral examinations and cleanings. That said, this cost is minimal compared to repairing significant damage that could have been found and fixed early on.
In other words, scheduling and keeping your dental appointments are important components of a healthy lifestyle. After having your teeth cleaned, polished, treated with fluoride, and checked over for disease and injury, you will leave the office knowing more about your oral health and feeling confident in your smile. You may dread taking the time off from work or fear what your dentist will find, but avoiding the possibility of minor repairs will only enable more damage to accrue. To set up your dental check-up, contact us today. We are here to help!