Visiting your family dentist may not be on the top of your list of fun things to do, and for some people who don't have dental insurance, it can be easy to make excuses as to why you want to forego this expense. However, visiting your family dentist should be a priority for you and everyone in your family, and you should visit your dentist regularly. If you're not convinced that seeing a dentist regularly is worth the time and the expense, note the following.
1. Dentists check for oral cancer
Smokers are not the only ones who get oral cancer. Whether or not you smoke, you should visit a dentist regularly so that he or she can check for signs of oral cancer. You may overlook certain symptoms yourself as you may assume they're just sores that will heal up, or may think that you are not at risk for cancer. No matter the risk factor, you should have a dentist examine your mouth at least annually, rather than let the problem worsen.
2. Check-ups prevent tooth loss
As with cancer, you may not think that you're at risk for tooth loss. However, unchecked cavities and gum disease can cause tooth loss or the need for an extraction, meaning the need to have your tooth pulled if it cannot be repaired. When you have gum disease, this can affect the roots of the teeth so that they become loose, and if you leave cavities unchecked, this can cause the teeth to become so eroded that they need to be pulled. By having these conditions checked and addressed by your dentist, you can avoid losing teeth.
3. Dentists can better address other health conditions that affect your mouth
If you snore, this can cause damage to your throat tissue. A dentist can note signs of this damage and then fit you with a mouthguard to wear at night. If you have acid reflux disease, this can cause erosion of the tooth enamel, and your dentist may notice this damage during an exam. He or she can then recommend you visit your family doctor to have that condition checked and protect your overall oral health.
Tooth erosion can be caused by grinding the teeth at night, and a dentist can also note symptoms of this problem before your teeth are completely worn down. This too can be treated with a mouth guard. Visiting a clinic like Whole Health Dentists can mean preventing or solving a problem before it gets painful and expensive.