The Dentist's Chair: Reasons Regular Visits Keep Your Teeth at Their Healthiest

The Dentist's Chair: Reasons Regular Visits Keep Your Teeth at Their Healthiest


You hate going to the dentist. Who doesnít? At the same time, going can mean the difference between a mouth full of teeth and a mouth full of dentures. Hereís how to keep your teeth looking their best, and why you should reconsider going to the dentist.


Dentists Can Find Cavities You Canít


Everyone knows that sugar is food for bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities. It doesnít stop you from eating cookies or cake though, does it?


Most people suffer from plaque buildup on their teeth. This plaque eventually causes cavities in the teeth. And, the risk of oral diseases is even higher when this plaque hardens on the enamel. Thatís because when it does harden, it canít be removed with brushing and flossing.


You could get yourself a dental pick and scrape it off, but unless you know what youíre doing, you could injure yourself.


So, the best option is to go to the dentist. OK, letís say youíre on board with that idea but you canít afford it. Well, sites like make it affordable, so thereís really no excuse not to make an appointment and get your teeth cleaned.


You really only need to go once or twice a year as long as youíre going a good job brushing and flossing.


Prevent Gum Disease


Visiting the dentist is also a great way to reduce your risk of developing gum disease. Believe it or not, you probably already have a mild form of it right now. If you want to prove it to yourself, grab some floss and start flossing. Any blood? You have inflammation and a mild form of gum disease.


If you brush, and it causes bleeding  -  gum disease. If you have any inflammation or swelling in your gums, thatís gum disease too. Sensitivity to heat, cold, or chewing, sweet, or acidic, foods is also indicative of the disease.


It gets more painful as time goes on too.


If it gets bad enough, you may end up losing your teeth. But, thatís not the worst part. Gum disease can lead to lung disease, diabetes, pancreatic cancer, and heart disease.


Donít believe it? The reason might surprise you.


When you have gum disease, you end up with small pockets between your teeth and your gums. These pockets are basically open doors to your bloodstream. Normally, they are kept closed and tightly locked by your tooth and beneficial bacteria.


But, when you have gum disease, pathogenic bacteria are able to make their way into your blood through openings in the gums that are left when a tooth is loosened, damaged, or there is enough inflammation to cause bleeding.


The bacteria can move throughout your body and become lodged in your heart, lungs, and other organs.


Because these bacteria are pathogenic (and even the good guys can become pathogenic if they make it to parts of the body where they donít belong), they can cause a whole host of problems, including chronic inflammation. This chronic inflammation can, in turn, cause cancer or a variety of other health problems.


Dentists Can Find Cancer


Did you know that your dentist can find cancer in your mouth?


Itís true. Every year, 45,750 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with oral cancer. Regular visits will help your dentist with early detection. But, he or she will only find it if you go regularly for cleanings and checkups.


Since cancer can be aggressive, itís really important to have a screening the next time you go in for a cleaning, and ask about measures you can take to reduce your risk of oral cancer.


There Are Fewer Complications


When you act on dental problems quickly, they usually diffuse themselves without complications. For example, if you donít floss now, and you start flossing, you will reduce the risk of gum disease. You can even reverse it if you catch it early enough.


But, once it progresses beyond a certain point, youíre doomed. Thereís nothing that can be done except tooth extraction and damage control (e.g. crowns, bridges, etc.). And, once you have to have oral surgery of any kind, complications become more common. You may need to have a tooth extracted and another tooth put in, for example. That obviously costs more money than some floss and a toothbrush.


Itís Easier To Maintain Oral Health


Itís easier to maintain good health than to fix your health once itís gone downhill. There are only so many mitigation strategies a dentist can employ before itís time to throw in the towel and concede that your life and lifestyle will be permanently and negatively affected.


Victoria Hyde has worked in a dental surgery for 15 years. During this time she has gained knowledge on keeping teeth healthy, finance options and getting over your dental fears. She writes for a number of health blogs.

Dated 11 January 2015

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