Are Dental Checkups Really That Important?
Last updated Tuesday, April 5th, 2022
We’re all busy people with a lot of things to remember. Birthdays, anniversaries, oil changes, changing the furnace filter, filing our taxes… so many things. It would be easy — among all of those recurring tasks — to forget or defer your dental checkups every six months.
They’re easy to forget and easy to put off, but they’re important. Regularly attending our dental clinic in Gilbert is essential for your family’s oral health for at least six reasons. Here they are.
Dental checkups deal with issues that extend far beyond cavities and the like, though we’ll come to that. Twice annual checkups are also an opportunity for your dentist in Gilbert to screen you for oral cancer. Early detection of oral cancer can markedly increase a patient’s survival rate. In just moments and in a completely non-invasive manner, your dentist will examine and scope all of the soft tissues inside your mouth for any signs of potential abnormal cells that may indicate a risk of oral cancer.
Screening checks to support your general health extend even beyond screening and scoping for oral cancer. Your dentist in Gilbert will also examine your lymph nodes for any swelling or apparent abnormalities. (The lymph nodes that your dentist will examine are the ones near your jawline where it meets your throat on each side.) While doing so, your dentist will check your neck and the exterior of your jaw for any swelling or lumps. If your dentist does identify any abnormalities, your dentist will recommend obtaining advice from a physician in case of any health condition.
As good as you are at brushing and flossing your teeth, plaque and even tarter can accumulate and develop on your teeth and around your gums. Dental checkups are an opportunity for your dentist and their staff to remove any plaque and tartar to prevent the development of tooth decay and cavities. Let’s put it this way — routine checkups are easier, more comfortable, and cheaper than getting fillings. Focusing on one may eliminate the need for the latter.
Accumulating tartar not only affects your teeth, but can also cause an infection of your gums — gum disease or periodontal disease. Gum disease starts in a minor form as gingivitis that can be reversed by dental treatment, but progresses if unchecked to mild and severe periodontitis that can cause gum and tooth loss. Treatment for periodontitis is much more invasive and difficult. Regular checkups permit early intervention to address gum disease while treatment is easiest and most likely to be effective.
There are a lot of personal habits that may, perhaps unbeknownst to you, be causing damage to your teeth, gums, or dental work. Examples of such habits include crushing ice with your teeth, chewing your nails, clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth, brushing your teeth over-enthusiastically, drinking coffee and red wine, and smoking cigarettes. Symptoms of the problems these habits can cause may not be obvious to you until they’re well advanced. Unless you attend a dental clinic in Gilbert regularly, those problems may develop to the extent only invasive, uncomfortable, and expensive treatment may be effective.
As closely and carefully as you may examine your teeth and gums, you can not — unless you’re a superhero of some sort, in which case all this can be tossed out the window — see every potential issue that may be lurking beneath your gums or within the interior of your teeth and jaws. Your dentist will regularly take dental images to identify emerging and potential problems while early solutions can be discussed.
Regular dental checkups can prevent the emergence of dental issues, and permit simple, comfortable and early interventions as opposed to reacting to serious conditions that may require invasive and expensive corrective procedures. Beyond those benefits, attending regular checkups can also support your dental health… and the health of your entire family. Are any of those benefits of value to you? We hope so. And we also hope you’ll get in touch with a dentist near you to schedule regular checkups… and that you attend those checkups. Busy as you may be, you’re never too busy to protect your health.