Why Should I Visit My Dentist Regularly?
Many people only visit the dentist when they are experiencing pain. These patients typically have been told about the importance of regularly visiting their dentist, but they don’t follow this strong advice until significant pain-causing damage has already been done. A routine dental visit goes beyond cleaning the teeth; it offers preventative treatment that is highly likely to ensure you have a healthy and beautiful smile your entire life. Here are a few things only a visit to the dentist can treat before the problem worsens:
While this is one of the more obvious problems a dentist or dental hygienist can treat, it is definitely one of the most important. Tartar builds up in the mouth on a daily basis and can be removed with regular brushing and flossing, but plaque is a much harder substance that can only be removed with professional dental tools. Plaque can also collect beneath the gumline, an area which should be addressed only by a dental professional. Too much plaque can lead to infection, gum disease, and even tooth loss.
An orthodontist can correct misalignment, but it is often first diagnosed by a dentist who submits a referral to an orthodontist. Misalignment can lead to a myriad of problems including jaw pain, excess tartar and plaque buildup, unclear speech, difficulty chewing, and infection. Correcting misaligned teeth earlier in life is preferred since the teeth become more resilient to being repositioned with the passing of time.
Damage to Dental Work
During a routine visit, a dentist can check for any loose fillings or damaged dental work. This is an especially important thing to catch early on since the damaged dental work can cause pain once a crack worsens or a loose filling finally gives way.
Many people do not realize the importance of replacing missing teeth. The force on the tooth from chewing regularly stimulates the jaw bone and prevents jaw bone loss. Without a tooth or several teeth present, the jaw bone will start to atrophy and recede, which can accelerate aging and ultimately change the shape of the entire face. A dentist can recommend a tooth replacement solution that will prevent jawbone deterioration, make speaking and chewing easier, and give you a more beautiful smile.
When your dentist places his hands near the back of your jaw and asks you to open wide, he is checking for signs of temporomandibular disorders, also called TMJ or TMD. Any clicks, pops, or tenderness in the area can indicate you have the condition. Early detection is important because it can prevent worse problems like tooth decay, gum disease, sinus problems, headaches, and earaches.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
As we discussed in our previous post, snoring may seem like a harmless issue, but it can lead to a very dangerous condition called obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea can cause the throat muscles to relax during sleep to the point where they close intermittently and prevent breathing for short periods of time. This can block adequate oxygen from reaching the brain and can result in several serious issues, such as heart attack, stroke, or even death. Simply mentioning your concern to your dentist can result in a quick diagnosis and treatment plan.
If your dentist is not also a cosmetic dentist, he or she can refer you to a cosmetic dentist like Dr. Fiss if it is determined that your particular concern cannot be addressed with general care. Issues like discolored dental bonding will only worsen with time, and they can also deteriorate and lead to pain and discomfort. A cosmetic dentist can also correct several problems at once with porcelain veneers, such as cracks, chips, gaps, misalignment, and crooked teeth.
To ensure your healthiest and brightest smile, schedule your first of many routine dental visits with Dr. Benjamin Fiss today. Contact our office at (312) 951-5230, or fill out our online contact form at your convenience.