Visiting your dentist for a dental exam isn’t only about inspecting for cavities. There are good reasons why health professionals suggest that you have a dental exam every six months. Regular exams still play a vital role in keeping your smile intact and your mouth healthy. However, these exams also check for problems that might not be strictly related to your teeth and gums.
Regular checkups are in order to look for issues like tooth decay, periodontal disease, in addition to many other health ailments while they’re still in their early stages. This is particularly helpful as treatment for health problems is usually most successful when they are detected early. If not caught early, some of these otherwise preventable diseases can cause significant problems. However, it’s not just dental health issues, as some symptoms your dentist discovers may indicate diseases in the rest of your body.
Regular dental cleanings and exams can lower your risk for various illnesses. Skipping cleaning sessions will allow your mouth’s bacteria to form a biofilm on your teeth. These bacteria can find their way into blood vessels and tissues, causing inflammation or illness elsewhere in the body.
Your dentist may also help protect you from heart disease. Individuals who do not have their regular exams and teeth cleanings have a 13% higher chance of a stroke and a 24% greater risk of having a heart attack than people who get exams and cleanings routinely, according to research conducted by the American Heart Association. Also, dentists spot high blood pressure in their patients and refer them to a doctor when necessary.
Your mouth could show symptoms like tooth enamel erosion, or swollen/bleeding gums which could indicate diseases such as eating disorders, osteoporosis or acid reflux. Periodontal disease may be an indication you may have diabetes. Crohn’s disease may be indicated by ulcers in the mouth, while oral candidiasis (a fungal infection) might be an indicator a critical health issue like HIV.
As well as the above, dental exams check for risk factors for fatal diseases such as cancer.
This is why your regular dentist appointments are important.
Have you booked your next appointment? Schedule now!