There are some things we’ve heard so often that they’re ingrained in our minds. We know that we should brush our teeth twice a day, floss at least once, and visit the dental office every 6 months. But do you need to have your teeth cleaned as frequently as your dentist says?
For some patients, your dentist may advise that you schedule appointments more than twice a year. This applies to high-risk individuals, such as those who:
- Have diabetes or cancer
- Are diagnosed with gum disease
- Have a compromised immune system
- Show signs of extensive tooth decay
- Are pregnant
If you have any of these conditions, your dentist may suggest that you have your teeth cleaned every 3-4 months.
We’re going to explain why it’s so important for every patient to see their dentist regularly:
Prevent the Development of Gum Disease
The signs of gum disease aren’t always obvious. They range from a strange taste in the mouth to swollen gums. The biggest indicator is how the appearance of the tissues changes—gradually, your gums begin to recede from your teeth. As the recession advances, teeth become loose and may fall out.
During a routine cleaning, your dentist can measure your periodontal pockets to detect early signs of gum disease. Once gum disease advances to the later stages, it becomes irreversible. But it can be treated if it’s caught early enough.
Those who have gum disease, or are at a higher risk for developing it, should make sure to schedule frequent dental check-ups.
Remove Tartar & Prevent Tooth Loss
A cavity may not be obvious—when you have one, you don’t always experience a toothache or sensitivity. It takes the trained eye of a dentist to spot the signs of tooth decay.
Not only does tartar lead to bad breath and tooth decay, but it’s also incredibly difficult to remove. The hardened mineral can only be scraped away by your dentist with the use of specialized tools.
Since tartar attracts bacteria, it makes your teeth more susceptible to decay. Cavities weaken the teeth and leave them vulnerable to infections. If the decay continues, it may reach the nerves of the teeth. At this stage, a dentist will need to perform a root canal or tooth extraction.
However, all of this can be avoided if the cavity is caught early enough! When you see your dentist regularly, you can stop tooth decay in its tracks.
Detect Signs of Oral Cancer
If you have a family history of oral cancer, or you regularly smoke tobacco, you are at a higher risk for this disease. Regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to monitor your oral health for signs of cancer. They can screen the tissues in your mouth to check for any abnormal growth.
When oral cancer is detected early, it can result in less aggressive treatment for patients. Early detection may improve the prognosis of the condition. If you’re concerned about oral cancer, make sure to ask your dentist to screen for it at your next cleaning.
Is it time to schedule a dentist appointment? At our dental clinic on Pembina, we provide routine cleanings and restorative treatments. We can inspect your mouth for any signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or oral cancer. Contact Fresh Dental today!