It’s probably been a while since you’ve seen the inside of a dentist’s chair. And that might be okay unless your last check-up was more than six months ago. If it has been longer than that, it’s definitely time for another visit to the dentist.
Your oral health is incredibly important, and even something as simple as a dental check-up can help ensure that you’re keeping your teeth healthy and free from disease. But in case you’re still not convinced, here are some reasons you need a dental check-up.
Why do I need dental check-ups?
There are many reasons you need a dental check-up, but here are a few of them.
1. To prevent gum disease
Gum disease is one of the most common oral health problems, and it can lead to a whole host of other issues if left untreated. In fact, studies have shown that people with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. Fortunately, regular dental check-ups can help identify gum disease in its early stages, which is when it’s much easier to treat.
2. To spot oral cancer early
Oral cancer is another serious health problem that can be difficult to spot on your own. During a dental check-up, your dentist will look for any signs of oral cancer, including lumps, bumps, or sores in the mouth.
3. To keep your teeth healthy
Your teeth are constantly under attack from plaque and tartar, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Dental check-ups give your dentist a chance to remove any plaque or tartar buildup, which can help keep your teeth healthy.
4. To catch other problems early
Dental check-ups aren’t just about your teeth – they’re also an opportunity for your dentist to check for other problems that might be going on in your mouth. For example, your dentist might notice signs of diabetes or other health conditions during a routine check-up.
5. To save money in the long run
Regular dental check-ups can actually save you money by preventing more serious oral health problems down the road. Treating gum disease, for example, is much less expensive than treating tooth loss, which can be a complication of gum disease.
6. To improve your overall health
Your oral health is closely linked to your overall health, so keeping your mouth clean can actually help you stay healthy overall.
Signs it’s time for a dental check-up
If it’s been more than six months since your last dental check-up, it’s probably time to schedule another appointment. But there are other signs that you might need to see the dentist, even if it’s been less than six months. Here are seven signs that you might need a dental check-up:
- Discolored Teeth?
While teeth can naturally yellow with age, there are also other causes of discoloration. The ADA notes that some foods and drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine can lead to staining. Moreover, smoking cigarettes is a leading cause of teeth discoloration. If you notice that your teeth have become yellow or stained, then it’s time for a dental check-up.
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away?
Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by several things such as the foods you eat, gum disease, tooth decay, dry mouth, and more. While brushing your teeth regularly and using mouthwash can help to temporarily get rid of bad breath, if the problem persists, it may be a sign of a more serious dental issue. A trip to the dentist can help identify the cause of your bad breath and provide you with long-term solutions.
- Changes in your gum tissue?
Healthy gums are typically pink in color and firm to the touch. However, if you notice that your gums are red, swollen, or bleeding easily, it could be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease is a serious oral health condition that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated, so it’s important to see a dentist immediately if you notice any changes in your gums.
- Mouth sores or lesions?
Mouth sores can occur for a variety of reasons ranging from a deficiency in vitamins to accidentally biting the inside of one’s cheek. However, some mouth sores can be cause for concern. The Mayo Clinic notes that mouth sores can be a sign of “oral cancer, infectious mononucleosis or other diseases.” So if you have a mouth sore that doesn’t go away within two weeks, it’s important to see a dentist as this may indicate a more serious problem.
- Experiencing toothaches?
Toothaches can be caused by several things such as tooth decay, an infection, gum disease, a cracked tooth, or more. While over-the-counter painkillers can help temporarily relieve the pain, it’s important to see a dentist to identify the underlying cause of the toothache and provide long-term solutions.
- Dry mouth?
Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications. Still, it can also signify a more serious condition such as Sjögren’s syndrome or diabetes. If you’ve been taking medication for an extended period and experience dry mouth, be sure to mention it to your dentist so that they can rule out any other causes.
- Changes in bite?
Your teeth are supposed to fit together like puzzle pieces. However, over time, your teeth can shift, leading to problems with your bite. The ADA explains that a change in your bite can put stress on the jaw joint, leading to “painful clicking, popping or grinding noises (called TMJ disorders).”
Furthermore, a change in your bite can also make it difficult to chew or talk. So if you notice a change in your bite, it is important to consult with a dentist as this may be a sign of an underlying problem.
These are just a few signs that it might be time for a dental check-up. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, or if it’s been more than six months since your last visit to the dentist, schedule an appointment today.
What happens during a dental check-up?
During a typical dental check-up, your dental professional will clean your teeth and check for any signs of tooth decay or gum disease. They will also assess your bite and look for any changes in your teeth or gums.
If you have any concerns, be sure to voice them during your appointment. Your dentist can answer any questions you have and provide you with information on how to maintain good oral health.
The difference between dental check-ups and dental treatments
Dental check-ups are preventive in nature and are intended to help you maintain good oral health. Dental treatments, on the other hand, are necessary when you have a dental problem that needs to be addressed.
Common dental treatments include fillings, crowns, bridges, implants, and dentures. Your dentist will let you know if you need any treatment based on the findings of your dental check-up.
How often should I have dental check-ups?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that most people have a dental check-up at least once every six months. However, some people may need to see their dentist more often, depending on their oral health needs.
For example, people with gum disease may need to see their dentist every three months for deep cleanings. Your dentist can let you know how often you should schedule appointments based on your individual needs.
Schedule a Dental Check-up Today!
If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental visit, it’s definitely time for another check-up. Remember, regular dental visits are important for keeping your teeth healthy and preventing costly problems down the road. So don’t wait until you have a dental emergency; schedule a dental check-up today!