Why Routine Dental Exams Are Important
If you are diligent about your teeth, brushing them at least twice a day and flossing regularly, then you are doing your part for your oral health. Don’t stop there! Having regular dental exams and cleanings can help you keep your smile – and the rest of you – healthier.
At Synergy Dental Center in Gillette, WY, we know the importance of regular dental exams and professional cleanings. We recommend getting an exam and cleaning every six months.
Reasons To Have Routine Dental Checkups
Prevent gum disease. Professional cleanings can prevent gum disease. Plaque can build up on your teeth. If it’s not removed, it can turn into tartar, a much harder substance that brushing and flossing alone can’t get rid of.
You may take great care of your teeth at home, but the fact is there are a lot of crevices in your teeth where plaque gets trapped and is harder to reach with a brush.
The longer plaque and tartar are left on your teeth, the more harmful they can be. Gum disease is an infection of the tissue around your teeth caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can turn into periodontitis.
Periodontitis is much more serious and if it’s left untreated, it can destroy your gums, teeth, and the bones that support your teeth.
- Signs of gum disease are:
- Red, puffy gums
- Bleeding when you brush
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
Sometimes the signs are so subtle that they can only be found by a professional. That’s why you should keep those regular appointments.
When we clean your teeth, we will use special tools to scrape away plaque and tartar. Then we’ll give your teeth a smooth and shiny finish.
Detect oral cancer. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, one American dies every hour from oral cancer. Oral cancer includes cancer of the lips, tongue, cheek, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate and pharynx.
Oral cancer can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. It’s particularly dangerous because in its early stages, a patient might not notice it. To check for oral cancer, we the VELscope Oral Assessment System to identify any irregularity.
There are certain risk factors for oral cancer, including:
- Smoking. Smokers – from cigarettes, cigars, or pipes – are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than nonsmokers.
- Using smokeless tobacco. People who use chewing tobacco are 50 times more likely to develop cancer of the cheek, gums, and lining of the lips.
- Excessive alcohol consumption. Oral cancer is six times more common in people who drink vs. those who don’t.
- Family history. As with many other types of cancer, a family history can increase your chances.
- HPV (human papillomavirus). Certain strains of HPV increase risk for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC)
Have a healthy smile. Who doesn’t want a beautiful, healthy smile? Regular exams help us keep an eye on your dental health. We will routinely check for problems, making note of any changes that may have occurred between appointments. For example, to check for cavities, we use a laser detection system called DIAGNOdent. We can correct any issues that come up before they become bigger issues.
A small cavity or a case of gingivitis are much easier and less expensive to treat than the problems that could be caused by waiting or not treating them at all. Routine dental exams keep the small stuff from becoming big stuff.
Just think about the difference in cost and time compared to getting a small cavity filled or having to get a tooth replaced because it was lost to decay.
Maintain good overall health. There has been a lot of research that links poor oral health and diseases like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Women with poor oral health also are more likely to give birth to premature babies or babies with low birth weight.
With so much at stake, why would you not schedule routine dental exams every six months? At Synergy Dental Center, we can detect issues before they become more serious if we see you on a regular basis.
Make an appointment today for a routine cleaning and exam by calling 307-622-1311 or by using our online form.