It's easy to forget about dental health, especially if your teeth and gums don't hurt or cause any discomfort. But if you haven't been to the dentist in 10 years, you may be at risk of developing serious oral health problems. Plaque build-up and tartar formation can cause tooth decay, bad breath, and ultimately, tooth loss. Gum disease can also lead to jaw bone loss and tooth loss.
Regular visits to the dentist are essential for preventing these unpleasant oral health problems from progressing to the point where tooth loss occurs. When you visit the dentist after a long absence, they will likely take a complete series of x-rays to create an oral health history. This helps them prepare for a visit that could take longer and involve more questions. The dentist will also carefully inspect for cavities or signs of periodontal disease, as well as examine the inside of the cheeks, lips, and underside of the tongue for signs of oral cancer.
If your dentist finds any cavities or signs of periodontal disease, they may recommend that you schedule a follow-up appointment for a filling or more complex procedure. They may also suggest that you come back for biannual cleanings to reduce the risk of tooth loss and other oral health problems. More studies and research have linked oral health to general health. Patients who neglect proper oral care by not going to the dentist regularly run the risk not only of contracting diseases of the teeth and gums, but also of contracting diseases and ailments in other parts of the body.
Some of the major health conditions related to oral health include heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and breast cancer.The bottom line is that regular visits to the dentist are essential for maintaining good oral health. Your dentist can provide professional oral care and advice so as not to judge or embarrass their patients. So if it's been 10 years since your last visit, don't hesitate to make an appointment today.