Most people do not look forward to – and even dread – their regular, six-month dental check-up. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), dental phobia and cost are the two main reasons for this apprehension. Nevertheless, regular dental exams and professional teeth cleanings are crucial to maintaining excellent oral health and a beautiful smile.
Furthermore, there are multiple studies that show your oral health has a direct affect on your cardiovascular health. This is yet another reason why it is so important to find a dentist in Itasca or the surrounding area who is empathetic and puts you at ease. In addition to maintaining your oral health through consistent dental care, your check-ups will provide an opportunity for your dentist to potentially detect more serious conditions like oral cancer, tartar accumulation, and periodontitis.
Even those who never use tobacco products should undergo screenings for oral cancer on a regular basis. Like most cancers, oral cancer can manifest in various ways, many of which are asymptomatic or extremely subtle. However, a dentist has the experience and training to identify early-stage disease, when it is often easy to treat.
Conversely, oral cancer can be devastating when it remains undiagnosed and untreated. Oral cancer screenings are quick, painless, and non-invasive – which is reassuring for people who fear dental procedures.
Cavities, Plaque, and Tartar
Everyone knows that plaque causes discoloration and can lead to tooth decay and cavities – but did you know that as plaque builds up, it combines with minerals from your saliva to form tartar? While plaque can be removed at home, tartar (also called dental calculus) must be removed with the help of a dental professional. This is because it forms a strong bond with the enamel of your teeth.
Additionally, if plaque builds up in small areas of the mouth – which are difficult to clean – it can lead to tooth decay. Cavities can be easy to miss, especially below the gumline or in between teeth, and by the time they become painful, they can be quite large. A decayed tooth can pose a serious health problem, as it can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream causing inflammation and infection.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis
In addition to being unsightly and contributing to cavities, plaque and tartar can lead to gingivitis (mild gum disease) and periodontitis (gum disease with inflammation of the ligaments and bone). Inflammation caused by tartar buildup can slowly erode gum tissue, causing infection, receding gums, swelling, soreness, and bleeding. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the connective tissue and bone which hold the teeth in place. When it progresses to this point, teeth can loosen.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 70% of adults aged 65 and older have some form of periodontal disease, and even more surprising, 47% of adults over the age of 30 suffer from this condition. Left untreated, periodontal disease can cause serious health consequences throughout the body – so it is ideal to find a dentist you feel comfortable with before your oral health begins to suffer.
Book an Appointment with Brian Homann DDS
The best way to find a dentist you feel comfortable with, is to visit a dentist near you that has a reputation for excellence and compassion. Whether you are looking for a general dentist in Itasca or the surrounding area, or a cosmetic dentist for specialized treatment, Dr. Brian Homann may offer exactly what you are looking for. We invite you to call today to schedule an appointment, or with any questions you may have.