When is the last time you went to the dentist? To maintain optimal oral health, you should have professional dental checkups twice per year, but many people go years without seeing a dentist. Without proper oral health care, you run the risk of having to deal with serious problems in the future.
Plaque and Bacteria Buildup
No matter how well you take care of your teeth at home, plaque will still build up on your teeth. This is because the tools you use at home are not equipped to get into certain areas of your mouth, such as deep between your teeth or the sides of the teeth that are farthest back in your mouth. Your dentist has access to professional equipment that allows him or her to reach these areas and remove the plaque and bacteria that builds up and causes various health issues.
- Tooth decay: As plaque builds up on your teeth, the bacteria eventually causes the enamel to erode, leaving you more susceptible to tooth decay. The result is an increase in cavities and, over time, total tooth loss.
- Gum disease: This is another serious problem related to lack of proper oral health care. If your gums bleed when you brush, or if they ever feel swollen or sore, you may be suffering from gum disease. If periodontal disease continues to go untreated, your gums will begin to recede, leading to loose teeth that are more susceptible to bacteria and that could eventually fall out.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Regular visits to the dentist are perhaps even more important in adolescence and early adulthood. During this time, your wisdom teeth come in. Some people never have a problem with their wisdom teeth, but others do not have mouths large enough to accommodate them. As the teeth grow in, they can cause overcrowding and push other teeth forward. Wisdom teeth can also become impacted and cause a lot of pain. Regular oral health care allows your dentist to see when your wisdom teeth start coming in and determine a course of action if they pose a threat to the rest of your mouth.
Increased Risk of Other Diseases
You may not realize it, but your oral health plays a large part in how healthy the rest of your body is. People who have tooth decay or gum disease often have a higher rate of more serious issues, such as heart disease. Dental problems have also been linked to respiratory issues, diabetes, dementia and some types of cancer.
By scheduling a dental checkup every six months, you ensure optimal health not only for your teeth and gums, but also for your entire body. Additionally, your brighter smile will help you feel more confident. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.