Routine Dental Exams
Regular visits allow your dentist to find early signs of disease. Problems can more likely be treated at a manageable stage.
On average, seeing a dentist twice a year works well for most people. A few people can get away with fewer visits. Others may need more frequent visits. People with very little risk of cavities or gum disease can do fine seeing their dentist just once a year. People with a high risk of dental disease might need to visit every three or four months, or more. This high-risk group includes:
- People with current gum disease
- People with a weak immune response to bacterial infection
- People who tend to get cavities or build up plaque
- If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease
The schedule for any person may change during a lifetime. In times of stress or illness, you may need to see the dentist more often than usual. The dentist may help you to fight off a temporary infection or treat changes in your mouth.
If you take good care of your teeth and gums at home and your dentist doesn’t find any cavities or gum disease for a few years, your dentist may choose to lengthen the time between visits. Ask your dentist the best schedule for your routine dental visits.
What’s Involved In A Dental Cleaning?
It simply means removing the plaque and tartar from the teeth that brushing and flossing cannot. If this debris remains on the teeth, bacteria develop, infect the gums and turn into gingivitis, which is an infection of the gum tissue. If gingivitis is untreated, periodontal disease develops. This condition destroys the bone which positions the teeth within the jawbone. The teeth become loose, they shift and then eventually are lost. The gums also recede and are very painful from the inflammation. To date, periodontal disease is irreversible and is often not readily detected until it is far too late to save a person’s smile.
Why Are Dental Cleanings So Important?
Not keeping a dental cleaning appointment every six months, may not seem like a tremendous health hazard, but just brushing and flossing will not keep gum disease at bay. When inflammation from the gums and bone in the mouth spreads to the body’s tissues through the blood stream, recent studies have shown poor oral health is directly linked to other serious health issues such as:
- Oral cancer
- High cholesterol
- Hardening of the arteries
- Blood clots
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Fertility problems
- Sinus infections