Going to the dentist can feel like a chore to many people, but neglecting regular dental checkups can increase your chances of all kinds of health problems – both those specifically related to your oral health and issues that can affect your overall physical health.
Going to the dentist is not just about your teeth – it should be treated like a physical or any other healthcare appointment. If you think a yearly physical is important, then why would regular dental visits be any less vital?
We recommend scheduling 3-4 dental visits each year to keep your teeth and oral health at its best – especially if you are at a high risk of certain oral health conditions.
Not quite convinced? Our oral health is not only important for flashing a nice smile – some of the overall health benefits of visiting a dentist may surprise you. Let’s look at a few.
Stronger, Cleaner Teeth – This is probably the most obvious, recognizable benefit. Regular scheduled dental visits and cleanings allow hygienists and dentists to examine your teeth and give them a deep clean and polish. If you tend to forget to floss, your dentist can remove the plaque and tartar that has built up since your last visit. A dentist will also be able to point out any teeth that are decaying or broken, any fillings that are damaged, and so on. The faster that you can identify problem areas in your mouth, the sooner you can get them fixed (and the more long-term damage you will be able to prevent).
Better Digestion – Oral health greatly affects your digestive system. When you are chewing your food well, saliva breaks down the carbohydrates in your meal. Breaking down your food with both your teeth and saliva is important for a smooth digestive process. Misaligned, weak, or infected teeth all decrease your ability to chew, which means less helpful saliva.
Not only can dental visits help you to clean your teeth and decrease infection, your dentist may also suggest veneers, crowns, or other processes that will strengthen your teeth (or replace ones that you have lost).
Early Diagnosis – Over 90% of systemic diseases (diseases that affect the whole body) have oral symptoms. There are also oral symptoms that can reveal the presence of HIV/AIDS or diabetes. Routine checkups from your dentist allow you the opportunity to catch a health condition you may not have been aware of. This is NOT to say that a dentist can diagnose you with a particular ailment, however all health care professionals are educated in a breadth of health issues and can spot warning signs of more serious health conditions.
Preventing Gingivitis – If you are not regularly brushing, flossing, or scheduling regular teeth cleanings, bacteria in your mouth will form plaque and tartar. As plaque and tartar grows along your gums and gum line, you run the risk for gum infection. This is called gingivitis, and can eventually give way to conditions like periodontitis and trench mouth. In the same way that our oral health is connected to our overall physical health, problems with our gums can lead to problems throughout our entire body.
Preventing Other Risks – Infected gums are not just an oral health problem. Research has been done suggesting that infected gums can provoke conditions like diabetes, increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, and more.
Do you have an appointment coming up? If not, you should contact South Florida Dental Care today.