Seeing your dentist for a dental exam isn’t solely about inspecting for those dreaded cavities. We’re advised to have dental exams every six months for a reason. Clearly, dental exams play an important role in keeping your smile intact and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. However, checkups check for issues that aren’t just restricted to gums and teeth.
These regular dental checkups help diagnose a wide range of ailments. This is important as health problems are most easily treatable when detected early. If not detected and treated early on, some of these otherwise preventable diseases can cause severe problems. But it’s not just your mouth, as some things observed in a dental exam are used to diagnose diseases in the rest of your body.
Regular dental cleanings and exams can lower the risk for some illnesses. Avoiding professional cleanings will cause the bacteria in your mouth to turn into a biofilm on your teeth. This bacteria can penetrate your tissues and blood vessels, causing inflammation or illness elsewhere in the body.
You may not know this, but a dentist might also help save you from heart problems. According to the American Heart Association, those who don’t have their regular exams and cleanings are at a 24% greater risk of having a heart attack and a 13% higher likelihood of a stroke than those who have their teeth examined regularly. Your dentist can also refer a patient to a doctor, should they notice high blood pressure.
Your mouth could show symptoms such as tooth erosion or bleeding gums which may indicate diseases including eating disorders, acid reflux, or osteoporosis. If you have a case of gum disease, it could be an indication you have diabetes. Oral candidiasis (a fungal infection) can indicate a critical health issue like HIV, whereas Crohn’s disease may be indicated by ulcers in the mouth.
As well as the above, exams with a dentist check for risk factors for diseases like oral cancer.
This is why your dentist appointments are so important.
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