There are many short-term benefits of visiting the dentist regularly. The patients who see us often usually have brief visits because plaque and tartar haven’t had much of a chance to accumulate. Because regular dental visits are one of the best ways to prevent cavities and gum disease, usually their 6 month exams and cleanings are the only time they need to come to our office. This saves both time and money, a benefit most of our patients appreciate.
Then there are the long-term benefits of your regular dental visits. These are even more important than saving time and money––they could even save your life. Seeing your dentist regularly doesn’t just help your oral health, but your overall well-being too. Dentists can spot signs of serious diseases before you or your doctor even notice them.
Here are the best long-term reasons to never skip a dental check-up.
You’re More Likely to Keep Your Natural Teeth
Research shows a link between the frequency of preventive dental visits and long-term tooth loss. If you want your natural teeth to last well into your golden years, don’t skip your routine dental exams and cleanings. When we see you in our office regularly, we can stop potential problems before they start––and before they require expensive restorative treatments.
Dentists Screen for Oral Cancer
Like all cancers, early detection of oral cancer is critical for the best outcomes. Dentists are trained to identify suspicious tissue and growths that have the potential to be malignant. During your routine dental visit, your dentist will take time to examine your jaw, neck, lips, cheeks, and tongue for sores and other abnormalities. If anything is found during these exams, you will be referred to a specialist for further screening.
Heart Disease and Gum Disease Are Linked
Research is still being done to pinpoint why and how, but what we do know is this: there is a clear link between heart disease and gum disease. People who have gum disease have two to three times the risk of serious cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks. One hypothesis is that gum disease leads to an increase of systemic inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation is a contributing factor to atherosclerosis, which causes cardiovascular issues.
Preventing gum disease is as simple as good oral hygiene practices at home, including flossing and brushing twice a day, and regular dental visits.
Other Signs of Systemic Disease Can Be Spotted by Dentists
Several autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and diabetes, may have oral symptoms before signs appear elsewhere, so regular dental visits can spot these systemic diseases––even if you haven’t experienced any other symptoms.