Visiting your dentist and dental hygienist at least every six months is important to your overall health. These visits not only save you thousands of dollars but can help prevent three major health issues and potentially save your life.
The first issue that can be discovered during your semi-annual visits is a cavity. Areas of dental decay can be detected and removed before they get deep inside the tooth and create bigger and more costly issues. If dental decay is not detected early, it can cause extreme pain leading to tooth loss or a costly root canal. If the tooth is lost, a dental implant or bridge will be needed which can cost thousands of dollars in dental care.
Another health issue that can be detected at your regular hygiene visit is oral cancer. Many people believe they are not at risk for oral cancer because they do not regularly participate in lifestyle habits such as smoking or drinking. However, oral cancer is becoming more common in people with low risk factors. Having a cancer screening at your six month cleaning can lead to early detection and a lower risk of death.
The final health issue is one that is often left undetected because it does not necessarily cause pain. Periodontal disease is one of the most dangerous yet underdiagnosed dental issues today. Almost 50% of people over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease. The CDC states that 70% of adults over the age of 65 suffer from periodontal disease. This unnoticeable health challenge can quickly move from simple bleeding gums to bone & tooth loss if left untreated. Often times, for patients who miss regular dental cleanings and exams, their first sign of the disease is a loose tooth. At that point, saving that particular tooth is nearly impossible however identifying periodontal disease can be life-saving.
More importantly, the bacteria that is associated with periodontal disease enters the bloodstream and increases the patient’s risk of stroke, heart attack, COPD, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other major health issues and concerns. Additionally, because patients are likely to visit their dentist more often than their physician, the dental healthcare provider will often notice health issues that a patient may not be aware of – like high blood pressure.
Visiting your dentist and dental hygienist on a semi-annual (or more frequent) basis is crucial to your oral and overall health. Not only will it save your teeth, it will save you money and possibly your life.