Many people know that visiting the dentist every six month is recommended, but they may not think much of postponing or missing the occasional appointment. It can be easy to believe that the worst consequences of skipping a few visits will be mild cosmetic issues or discomfort. In reality, though, regular visits to a dentist play an essential role in protecting your oral and general health, and missing visits can have serious consequences.
Avoiding Oral Health Complications
Regular visits provide your dentist with an opportunity to identify potential or pending health problems, such as cavities, infections, gum disease and tooth loss. These health problems can be severe on their own, and in some cases, they can create effects that extend beyond the mouth. For example, tooth infections can spread to other parts of the body, and periodontal disease has been linked to many systemic health problems, from heart disease to stroke. This makes regular dental visits to prevent these health issues essential.
Detecting Other Health Threats
During a typical appointment, in addition to inspecting the teeth and gums, your dentist conducts screenings for other health problems. your dentist may look for the following issues or warning signs:
- Oral cancer. Cancer may be treated more effectively when it is detected early, before more obvious symptoms manifest.
- Other soft tissue growths. Your dentist may easily notice warnings signs, such as swelling, lesions or growths, which would be more difficult for you to detect.
The early detection of any of these conditions can offer significant health benefits. Preventive or early care can be more effective in mitigating long-term complications and health risks. Preventive care is also more financially feasible for many people.
Investing in Your Long-Term Health
If you haven't visited your dentist in more than six months, remember that you might be risking oral as well as general health problems. Scheduling an appointment with your dentist can go a long way toward helping you preserve an attractive smile as well as strong overall health.