Dental Guides

The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups

Countless adults experience panic and fear when they're faced with a dentist appointment. So it’s not surprising that 42 percent of adults in the U.S. don’t attend regular dental appointments. Doing oral care at home is not enough to prevent serious dental problems.

According to 286 Madison Dental in Murray Hill, Regular checkups should be scheduled every six months in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums. A dentist is able to catch a lot of problems before they become too serious. Brushing, flossing, and mouthwash can only reach so many places in the mouth. That means plaque and tartar can build up in the small crevices that go uncleaned. A dentist will do a deep cleaning to help rid your mouth of cavity-causing plaque.

How Plaque and Tartar Affect Your Teeth

Without regular cleaning, both at home and the dentist, plaque can build up on the surface of your teeth. If plaque is not removed it can harden and turn into tartar. It's difficult to remove plaque from teeth and even harder to remove tartar. This buildup will start eroding the tooth, causing holes and cavities. Without proper care, you won't notice the problem until it's too late. The tooth won't start hurting until the damage has been done.

Gum Disease

Another result of tartar and plaque buildup is gum disease. Gingivitis is an infection in the gums that causes swelling, sores, and bleeding. In severe cases, the gums will actually start pulling away from the teeth. Gingivitis can also cause a breakdown in the bone that's holding your teeth in place. You will need an oral specialist once your teeth become loose and, in some cases, start falling out. 

Other Problems Regular Checkups Help Avoid

Plaque, tartar, and gum disease are not the only conditions a dentist can detect. Other health problems can present in the mouth and affect the rest of your body. Seeing your dentist regularly can help with addressing the following:

  • Head, neck, and lymph node pain- can be a sign of more serious health problems.
  • Bad habits- that affect your teeth can be addressed and controlled.
  • Oral cancer- can be caught early on by a dentist. They know the signs and symptoms to look for and the test is non-evasive, painless, and only takes a few minutes.
  • Abscess- happens when a pocket in the gums becomes infected. This infection can spread into the bloodstream if not treated with an antibiotic.
  • Bone conditions- such as tumors, impacted teeth, cysts, and degeneration can be caught by a dental x-ray.   

Why Regular Checkups are Essential

Seeing a dentist twice a year can help identify and address serious problems with your oral care. A checkup, x-rays, and a deep cleaning can keep your smile glowing and your mouth feeling great. Regular dental cleaning can help with avoiding gingivitis. A six-month checkup is going to be less expensive than the dental work that may be necessary if you go without. Make sure and keep that appointment every six months to help maintain your oral health.  

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