Our teeth are an essential yet commonly overlooked part of our body. Despite our dependence upon them for sustenance, chewing, and efficient extraction of nutrients from food, few of us can look after and care for them properly. Often people don’t even see a dentist for years, not until we have severe pain in our teeth. Think about it – teeth are so important that medical professionals have created a separate degree and profession dedicated exclusively to our teeth! But why exactly should we see a dentist, and why as often as six months? That’s what we’ll be exploring today.
One of the main reasons to visit a dentist is to catch and prevent tooth decay
Dentists can easily diagnose tooth decay at its earliest stages. Most of our diets have an abundance of sugary content, and a steady buildup of this can lead to the growth of multiple microbial colonies in our teeth. Sugar can also build up and destroy the outer layer of our teeth and worsen any past tooth disease in close to six months. An eventual buildup of plaque can slowly ruin your teeth from outside to in. Dentist visits twice a year can help prevent tooth decay and reverse the effects and buildup of plaque on your teeth. Tooth decay that has gone on too long can cause severe pain, exacerbated while eating or drinking.
Going to a dentist visit when there’s no current pain or decay may seem pointless at first. But a phrase that is quite common in the medical world is, “prevention is always better than the cure.” Preventing disease in its early stages saves you the time and pain involved, as well as preventing any chance of increased disease severity. It makes more sense when you consider the pain involved in the disease, the hassle of dentist appointments, and the financial struggles involved in the whole procedure.
As mentioned before, tooth decay and tooth loss have direct effects on adequate diet and nutrition. Our teeth are an essential part of food digestion, and with improper dental and oral hygiene, consuming food can become quite a problem. Besides directly affecting our daily lives in this way, poor oral hygiene can also indirectly cause us harm by acting as points for the spread of infections, which may lead to cardiac and respiratory disease. Bacteria involved in oral disease have been linked to increased risks of serious diseases such as heart attacks or strokes by spreading bacteria in our blood.
A dentist isn’t simply concerned with what is going in your mouth. A dentist’s routine checkup involves examining both your oral cavity and your head and neck region. This includes checking the lymph nodes for infection, looking for any signs of cancer or malignancies, diabetes, or vitamin or nutrient deficiencies. Teeth cleaning is just one of the many aspects examined by dentists. Some of the basics of a dentist visit include cancer screening, radiographic imaging, and medical history review. All of these can be used in conjunction with each other to catch underlying causes of oral health diseases in time, treat them, and prevent a recurrence.
Despite our best efforts, the fact is, we won’t be able to achieve optimal oral health on our own
Even by brushing twice a day, flossing, and maintaining a proper diet and lifestyle, it might not be enough. Tartar is a substance that builds up with time. Simple flossing and brushing cannot remove this substance. Dentists can remove it using a process called scaling. If you scale regularly, you have the benefit of multiple disease prevention. Dentists can also identify gum disease in its early stages and prevent progression to an irreversible state.
Even if we perform the oral health routine regularly, we often make mistakes in the execution. Going to a dentist helps us iron out the details to achieve maximum efficiency in dental health care at home. Whether it’s the technique or the tools, a dentist can help you care for your teeth by teaching you the proper routine, by stepping in when things have gotten a bit out of hand, or on an as-needed basis.
A lot of long-term and hidden diseases have debilitating effects on your teeth. Patients who have diabetes for example, are at greater risk for gum diseases. A genetic predisposition could also be present, which may have gone undiagnosed. Pregnancy also leads to many gum disease complications. You could be taking some medicine for some other disease that might lead to tooth decay. When it comes down to it, a lot of seemingly harmless things can be harmful for our teeth. Coupled with how different one human is from another, sometimes it’s best to have a professional look at us now and then to prevent a disease from progressing.
When it comes down to it, the main reason a person should visit a dentist is prevention. Going to a dentist can help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. A myriad of benefits can be attained through regular checkups and screening, whether health benefits or financial benefits. With our teeth being as vital as they are, it makes sense for us to care as much as we do about them. Cosmetically or medically, our teeth are a big part of our lives, and prompt, regular care can help them be as long-lasting as possible.