It’s usually recommended to have at least two dental checkups and cleanings a year, but studies have found that many Americans avoid these appointments; it’s been reported that up to 20% do so out of fear while about 13% have financial concerns. Whatever the reason, avoiding the dentist comes with a great deal of risk; here are 3 reasons why a dental checkup might be the key to leading a long, healthy life.
1. Preventing Cavities and Plaque Buildup
Even if you brush and floss on a regular basis, plaque can still build up in spots that you’ve missed. This is much more likely than you think, as there are various nooks and crannies in the mouth that can be hard to reach. Plaque can lead to the formation of cavities that, if not found and treated early on, will eventually result in a severe infection. An infected tooth can cause a lot of pain; you might need to have a root canal performed, but in other cases you could lose the tooth altogether.
With regular checkups, the dentist can remove plaque from your teeth before it starts causing serious issues; they can also find cavities in the earliest stages that can still be treated with fillings and other more conservative procedures.
2. Stopping Gum Disease from Developing
The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis; in addition to redness and swelling, you might notice that your gums bleed easily. At this stage, the condition can still be easily reversed, but if you don’t get treatment quickly enough, you might develop periodontitis, which is much more severe and can lead to tooth loss. Worse still, gum disease has been linked to heart attacks, respiratory infections and other life-threatening issues. Regular dental checkups can prevent gum disease from reaching its later, more dangerous stages (and in many cases stop it from occurring altogether) and help you protect your health overall.
3. Detecting Oral Cancer
The sixth most common kind of cancer in the world, oral cancer can be deadly if it reaches other parts of the body. The five-year survival rate without treatment is 38%, but if the cancer is found before it has had a chance to spread, those odds will rise to 83%. An oral cancer screening is typically performed as part of a regular dental checkup, so two appointments a year will give you a much better chance of finding the disease before too much damage is done.
Not sure when your last visit to the dentist was? That probably means it’s been too long! Call your dentist in Katy today to schedule a preventive checkup and cleaning; it just might add a few more years to your life.
About the Author
At The Dental People in Katy, Drs. John Siu, General Dentist, Eva Boldridge, Prosthodontist, and Lam Hoang, Orthodontist, all have their own specialties that let them address a wide variety of dental issues. They have multiple sedation options that can keep patients with dental anxieties feeling calm while their teeth are cared for. To schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (214) 330-0477.