As you are leaving your routine dental appointment, you are asked to book your six-month follow-up. You schedule it and tell yourself that you are going to be there – you are going to make your teeth a priority. But, when six months fly by and you get that notice reminding you of your appointment, life has taken over. Maybe it’s work obligations, other appointments, a sick kid – whatever the reason, you have to cancel.
There is a strong likelihood that you will never re-book that appointment for months or even years.
The American Dental Association – and your dentist – recommend a routine visit every six months. And, while they do enjoy seeing their patients, that’s not the only reason why they suggest you come in.
Proactive Dental Treatment Halts Bigger Issues
Think of all the reasons why you take your car for routine oil changes, have your kid’s physical for school, or water your plants. These are all ways in which you proactively care for something. You are looking to keep your car, your kid, and your plants alive and thriving.
Your dental care should be done proactively, too. Early treatment for things as they arise can reduce the chance of them becoming more serious dental woes. Regular visits to the dentist can allow subtle changes in your oral health to be noticed – and handled.
Everyone knows that mouth pain is one of the worst pains. By allowing your dentist to uncover potential issues early, you may never even have any symptoms at all. For instance, that tiny cavity won’t have the chance to become a tooth with an exposed root that requires a root canal.
Your Oral Health Matters to Your Overall Health
There is a link between your oral health and your overall health – one significantly affects the other. If you don’t practice routine oral care you are leaving your body susceptible to dangerous health concerns, such as:
Research continues to try to find the connection, but there seems to be a link between inflammation and infection from oral bacteria found in the teeth and gums and inflammation throughout the body – including the cardiovascular system. This means there could be a link between heart disease, stroke, and even clogged arteries and the health of your mouth.
When you have a collection of bacteria in your mouth that is not addressed, it can make its way into your bloodstream. When this happens, this harmful bacteria spreads throughout the body and into the inner lining of the heart. Endocarditis is the medical term for this type of infection found in the lining of the heart.
Again, your mouth can distribute its germs and bacteria to other areas of the body. That means it can spread straight into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other conditions that impact your respiratory system.
Maintaining your oral health will not only keep you healthy, but it will also allow you to protect your teeth and mouth from illnesses and diseases that negatively impact your oral care. Two of the most common are diabetes and osteoporosis.
Diabetes is a very common condition in our population. And it also seems to lead to a much higher rate of gum disease. Another condition, osteoporosis, the weakening of bones, is a condition faced by many older individuals. It is not uncommon for those with osteoporosis to have a weakened periodontal bone and experience both bone loss and tooth loss.
Seeing your dentist regularly can keep your mouth healthy to prevent health complications and reduce oral health issues as a result of illness or disease.
Save Time and Money
Finally, who doesn’t love to save time and money? Not going to the dentist for a while could mean that you find yourself needing to make an emergency visit. The cost of these deeper, more restorative visits can really add up. Not to mention the downtime you will face due to longer, more intensive dentistry procedures.
It doesn’t matter how well you care for your teeth, sometimes emergencies come up. But, with your regular 6-month visits, you can drastically reduce the chances of that happening. Quick, in and out visits that offer you an exam and cleaning while addressing any concerns can save you a lot more time and money in the long run.