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Importance of Routine Dental Exams

Bad breath, swollen gums, and jaw pain are just a few of the common warning signs that you may have poor oral health. Neglecting your mouth and teeth can create more problems in the long run. Here are the two primary reasons why routine dental exams are essential:


Early Detection and Intervention


You should see your dentist regularly to catch dental problems before they get worse. Your dentist can check for plaque buildup during your routine dental exams. You don’t want this sticky biofilm made of a community of living microbes to turn into tartar. As you know, tartar can lead to cavities and gum disease. You cannot remove tartar by just brushing your teeth. But your dentist can use special devices to get rid of this crusty deposit. If you put off your dental visits, you will develop cavities or gum problems and not even know about it. If left untreated, these can result in severe tooth decay, infection, and tooth loss.


Oral Health Affects Overall Health


Skipping your dental checkup and cleanings can put your total health and well-being at much higher risk for problems down the road. Researchers discovered that there’s a correlation between oral health and overall health. Studies suggest that gum disease can lead to severe and even fatal health issues. These include kidney problems, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. Gum disease has even been linked to pregnancy. The condition appears to impact the health of an unborn baby. Endless studies connect gum disease to pre-term babies and babies born with low birth weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those born with a weight of fewer than 5.5 pounds are prone to health problems during the first few days of their life. They may also suffer from development issues down the line. The same complications can happen with premature babies.


How Often Do You Need to Visit Your Dentist?


Your dentist will gather information about your oral health and overall condition during your initial consultation with them. From the information gathered, they will determine the appropriate schedule for regular maintenance.

For those with a healthy mouth, dentists generally advise their patients to see them twice a year. For individuals with certain oral health risks or ongoing dental issues, dentists usually recommend more frequent visits. This way, they can address these specific problems and monitor the effectiveness of the treatment plan.


What to Expect During Routine Dental Exams


Your first visit will involve the dentist taking your full health history. They will ask about your oral health, any medications you’re taking, allergies, and whether you smoke or drink alcohol. A thorough investigation will then be performed to assess the state of your teeth, gums, and supporting structures.

Depending on your age and medical condition, your dentist may recommend using X-ray machines to detect any dental abnormalities. This can help diagnose dental issues, such as impacted teeth, cysts, and abscesses, that may not be visible to the naked eye.

A thorough cleaning will follow using special instruments. Dental cleaning may involve scraping below your gumline, removing any plaque buildup or tartar formation. Your dentist or dental hygienist may also polish and floss your teeth.

Do you want to learn more about how you can better take care of your oral health? At Seale Family Dentistry, we can determine any dental issues you may have and discuss the best treatment solution for you. Call our office at (337) 474-0212 now in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to schedule your consultation.