Dentistry and Your Overall Health: Five Things to Consider

It comes as no surprise that regular visits to the dentist can keep your teeth strong and gums healthy. But routine cleanings and exams can contribute much more to your body’s overall health and wellness. The following are five important thoughts to ponder when it’s time for your next dental visit.

X-rays Provide a Broad Picture

Seeing your dentist every 6 months is a great way to prevent oral problems such as gum disease. It may also be a great time to consider replacing missing teeth with advanced procedures such as dental implants. During your initial evaluation, your dentist will take X-rays, using low amounts of radiation. What the X-rays show are typically cavities, breaks and other issues too tiny to witness without the assistance of digital imaging. The pictures can also provide a broad picture of your mouth, gums and jaw. This assists in determining if there are other health complications such as bone loss in the jaw or abscesses underneath the gums.

Search the Gum Line and Below

Dr. Jason Lane, a understands the importance of a thorough dental exam. By taking a good long look of your gums, they’ll be able to assess whether you’re at the initial stages of gum disease. If not treated properly and quickly, your body could be susceptible for other health complications such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, irritable bowel issues and infection. You can assist your dentist during your exam by alerting them to problems you may be experiencing such as bleeding gums during brushing.

Assess More Than Your Teeth

Your dentist is assessing more than just your teeth during a cleaning. They are also looking for cavities, tooth decay, gum disease and other serious complications. Studies show a direct link between oral health and diseases. That’s why a dentist will search for early warning signs of illnesses such as oral cancer. This may include an exam of the lips, gums, tongue, cheeks and roof of mouth. If you smoke, you may want to alert your dentist, so they can feel for lumps in the neck or jaw. When problems are caught at the early stages, you have a higher rate of recovery.

Identify and Repair Problematic Areas

If you’re embarrassed by your smile, it’s probably been quite some time since you’ve been to the dentist. But one of the most obvious considerations in seeing your dentist on a regular basis is to and repair the damage. During your checkup, your dentist will look over your teeth and give them a deep cleaning. Once cleansed and polished, your dentist will also floss in between to remove an excess plaque that could have collected in between your visits. After X-rays have been taken, a dentist will be able to detect problematic areas. The quicker your dentist can identify difficulties, the sooner you can fix them. You’ll also be able to prevent long-term damage to your oral health. When you visit your dentist on a regular basis, you’ll notice stronger teeth and a whiter smile. You can also prevent bad breath and other bacterial diseases that can affect the gums, mouth, bloodstream and organs.

Offer Recommendations for At-Home Care

You don’t want to solely rely on your dentist to clean your teeth. Your dentist can also provide you with to keep your mouth healthy in between dental visits. You can begin by adopting a brushing and flossing regimen twice daily. The instruments you use can also make a difference. Although a regular toothbrush with soft bristles can help you clean thoroughly, your dentist may recommend an electronic toothbrush for daily cleanings. The rotating heads of the devices are better at cleaning the gums, teeth and tongue. The devices also mimic the tools used in the dental office and get in between hard to reach places. Flossing is another habit you want to perform regularly. Although the un-waxed strings are easy to use, many prefer the flossing picks to remove plaque. You should also pay attention to your diet. Focus on eating foods that are natural such as fruits and vegetables. To prevent tooth decay, you should also avoid high sodium and sugary foods that are especially sweet and sticky.

Your routine trip to the dentist may not be an appointment you look forward to. But it’s an exam you want to keep. If you’re wondering what’s the point to this regular 6-month checkup, the above thoughts are crucial considerations.


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