At a dental exam, the dentist is doing more than looking for cavities. There are good reasons why it’s recommended that we have a dental exam twice a year. Regular exams still are critical for making sure your smile remains beautiful and for maintaining the health of your gums and teeth, but, in addition to that, dental exams are also to check for problems that might not be restricted to your gums and teeth.
These routine dental checkups are in order to diagnose problems like cavities, periodontal disease, as well as many other health ailments. This is particularly useful as treatment for health problems is usually most successful with early detection. If not caught early on, some otherwise preventable diseases can cause major problems. However, it’s not just mouth-related problems, as some signs and symptoms observed in a dental checkup can be used to diagnose diseases elsewhere in your body.
Regular visits with your dentist can cut down on the risk of various diseases. Not having cleaning sessions will cause the bacteria in your mouth to stick to your teeth, coating the teeth’s surface with a biofilm. This bacteria can make their way into your tissues and blood vessels, causing inflammation or illness in other parts of the body.
A dentist might also help save you from heart disease. Those who don’t get their regular exams and cleanings are at a 13% greater chance of a stroke and a 24% greater risk of having a heart attack than people who have dental exams routinely, according to the American Heart Association. A dentist can also refer patients to a doctor should they notice high blood pressure.
Your dentist may discover symptoms such as gums that are bleeding or swollen, or tooth enamel erosion which may indicate diseases including acid reflux, eating disorders, or osteoporosis. Periodontal disease may be an indication of diabetes. A condition called oral candidiasis could be an indicator of a critical health issue like HIV, whereas Crohn’s disease may be indicated by mouth ulcers.
Moreover, exams with a dentist screen for risk factors for diseases such as oral cancer.
This is why your regular dentist appointments are vital to your overall health.
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