It is likely that most of us have been told on more than one occasion that we should have regular dental checkups. Typically, it will have been suggested that we should arrange for an appointment every six months. However, despite these recommendations, more than half of adults are unlikely to visit their dentist even once during the course of a year. Whether the reason for skipping these appointments is anxiety or simply concerns about the cost, neither of these can justify the resulting potential risk to your dental health and, possibly, to your general health.
In practice, the point of these regular visits is to spot any problems before they become serious and more difficult to treat. Instead, we tend only to resort to dentistry when we are actually experiencing a problem which, in many cases, a routine visit to the dentist could have prevented.
Despite our best efforts with toothbrushes and floss, we invariably miss small areas and these are where any plaque present can harden to form the tartar that erodes our teeth. Only once a tooth aches does the damage become apparent. The early detection of cavities, plaque, and tartar are good enough reasons to have regular checkups. For those who may be concerned about the cost of routine dental appointments, it is worth noting that, in addition to saving them pain, a dentist charge less for professional cleaning than for a filling.
Tooth decay and filling are not the only potential consequences of allowing plaque and tartar to build up. There is also a danger that this could lead to the condition known as gingivitis in which the gum tissue becomes detached from the teeth, at which point, swelling, pain, and bleeding can occur. Also, as the teeth are loosened by this process, they are at risk of falling out. Treatment for gum disease is lengthy and might include the need for surgery, which certainly suggests that routine visits to the dentist could be a far better option.
Not all problems that may occur in your mouth will necessarily involve your teeth, however. Frequently, it is a dental examination that will first reveal the early signs of oral cancer. In addition to their knowledge of teeth and gum disorders, dental practitioners are also familiar with the symptoms of oral cancer and may even be equipped to carry out a simple and totally non-invasive procedure to confirm or preclude their diagnosis. In these circumstances, a routine appointment with your dentist could even save your life. Why not book one with Intercare’s easy-to-use online app today?