Dental problems, such as tooth decay or gum disease, can affect your ability to eat and speak properly, causing pain and bad breath. Normally, the body's natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that could cause oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Proper tooth care needs more than brushing and flossing morning and night.
If this were all it takes to keep your teeth in top shape, you would almost never need to go to the dentist. However, good oral health requires more attention than that. Many people will wait until a problem, such as toothache or bleeding gums, arises to go to the dentist. To keep your gums and teeth healthy and avoid other oral health problems, regular dental care visits are essential.
Poor dental health is also linked to a number of health problems, including diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease. Routine dental checkups are about total health care, not just your teeth. The Academy of General Dentistry states that there is a significant relationship between gum disease and other health problems such as heart disease and stroke. Good oral health can actually prevent other diseases.
Dentists and medical professionals agree that the vast majority of systemic diseases, that is, those that affect several organs or the entire body, manifest themselves in the mouth. Prevent and control oral and craniofacial diseases, conditions, and injuries, and improve access to preventive services and dental care. During a dental checkup, your dentist will always want to know if flossing is still part of your oral hygiene routine. Good dental health is a combination of proper daily maintenance (brushing and flossing) along with regular visits to your dental professional.
In a dental checkup, the dental hygienist will check for cavities and x-rays can be taken to determine if there is tooth decay. Community-based water fluoridation and dental sealant programs in schools are two of the main evidence-based interventions to prevent tooth decay. Thanks to modern dental technology, treating tooth decay, especially in the early stages, is often only mildly uncomfortable, at its worst. With routine dental care, you may be able to prevent small problems from becoming big and harming your overall health.
Tooth infection can result in tooth loss that would require expensive treatment, such as dental implants or a dental bridge. In a dental exam, the dentist will look for damaged teeth, signs of tooth decay, gum condition, signs of teeth grinding, and more. A recent publication from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that, although dental sealants prevent more than 80% of tooth decay, only 1 in 3 children ages 6 to 8 has a dental sealant.