Some people will wait until they have a toothache or notice discoloration of their teeth before they make an appointment to see the dentist. However, that approach is only reactive and won’t prevent the same oral health problems from happening again down the road.
When you own a vehicle, you bring it to the shop for regular maintenance so it won’t cause headaches down the road. The same reasoning goes with visiting a dental office to maintain your teeth and gums before more advanced procedures become necessary.
Shirer Family Dentistry shares the most important reasons why you should schedule an appointment regularly, even if you aren’t experiencing any tooth pains or stains.
Stop Decay in its Tracks
Tooth decay is the result of not removing plaque from the tooth surface that eventually eats away at the surface of the tooth. While regular brushing and flossing can help you minimize the risk of decay, a dentist or hygienist can have a better look at the hard-to-reach spaces and remove some of the buildups that we cannot reach.
The dental team will professionally clean your teeth with the newest equipment to remove any plaque or tartar. A plaque is hardened over time and needs to be gently cleaned off.
Many people have experienced the discomfort of a cavity, which can lead to a painful toothache. But it doesn’t have to be this way! A dentist or hygienist can clean each tooth thoroughly, so holes don’t form on the surface of your teeth from decay. Regular x-rays and exams such as those you can get at Shirer Family Dentistry also can catch decay before it becomes uncomfortable.
Early Detection of Gum Disease is Key
A plaque on your teeth can eventually lead to periodontal disease, which begins as gingivitis caused by bacterial growth.
The first warning signs you might notice with gingivitis include inflammation of your gums, and they have become tender to the touch. You may also see that your gums bleed when you’re brushing as well as when you’re eating.
If you leave this condition unchecked, it can lead to gum disease. It occurs when your gums recede and create small pockets that are prone to infection. As it progresses, gum tissue and bone start to disintegrate – meaning your teeth can become loose, and even fall out.
Experienced dental professionals can detect the early signs, so you never have to get to that point, and teach you oral health tips to help minimize the risk between appointments.
Recognizing Signs of Cancer
Other potential oral health issues may be brewing under the surface without you knowing. Oral cancers (including the mouth and throat) affect about 50,000 people in the U.S. per year and is deadly in many cases.
This form of cancer can also affect your lips, tongue, sinuses, and palates. It can disguise itself as a sore throat that lingers, as sore ears, or has difficulty chewing your food. Some of the more apparent signs include bleeding in the mouth without an obvious cause and unexplained lumps in your mouth area. You may also have a facial sore that doesn’t seem to heal or speckled patches in your mouth.
Shirer Family Dentistry has made it a habit to perform oral cancer screenings for their patients during each six-month appointment. Because oral cancer is easier to beat in its earlier stages. Some of the possible symptoms could be the result of another problem, but it takes the skilled eye of a dentist to know the difference and start the right treatment.
Other Potential Problems Linked to Oral Health
Studies have shown that the state of your oral health can reflect on your overall health due to bacteria overload and infection. For example, you could end up with an infection of the lining of your heart (called endocarditis) if bacteria spread from your mouth through your bloodstream. There’s also some research to suggest inflammation in the oral cavity may lead to heart disease and strokes. Some of the unchecked bacteria could end up in your lungs and cause pneumonia, which can lead to severe coughing and a fever.
If you’re an expectant mother, there’s one more reason to get your teeth and gums checked regularly. Gum disease is linked to low birth weight and premature birth of babies.
On the flip side, your oral health condition can give doctors a clue about other health issues you might have – such as diabetes or osteoporosis.
The Tools to Prevent and Treat Problems at Shirer Family Dentistry, Aiken, SC
Even with proper oral hygiene routines, you may still end up with a dental problem that needs to be corrected by a professional. It’s good to know that your dentist has not only the knowledge and expertise to provide preventative dentistry, but also state-of-the-art equipment to detect and fix any issues.
The team at Shirer Family Dentistry believes in a conservative approach to dentistry for all ages. It’s a less invasive way of dealing with your oral health. By focusing on prevention, you can lessen the impact on natural tissues and minimize any surgical interventions. Not only does this approach make sense from a healthcare perspective, but also helps alleviate the costs of more complicated procedures when dental issues are caught in the earlier stages.
You get one-on-one care using updated technology. You’ll also get the attention of dentists (and husband and wife team) Dr. Michael Shirer and Dr. and Susannah Shirer who have up to date knowledge about prevention.
Contact Shirer Family Dentistry to find out more or to book an appointment.