We all have those friends who’ve bragged about not going to the dentist. Maybe they claim they’ve never had a cavity or they say, right out, that those who do visit the dentists are somehow “suckers.” Unfortunately, this kind of thinking can be incredibly damaging, and far from the truth. Your mouth is an essential part of your body, and if you don’t take care of it, it can be detrimental to your overall health. According to a study conducted by the CDC, an estimated 47.2 percent of adults in America have mild to severe gum disease, which can significantly increase your risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, and diabetes.
But visiting the dentist can do more than simply prevent disease, it can also help you assess your current health, plus so much more.
General dentistry is the first priority of any dentist. These types of treatments are dedicated to prevention or treatments of dental disease. Common preventive treatments consist mostly of less invasive procedures like checkups and cleanings. These are what can help prevent complications like gum disease and dental cavities.
The American Dental Association suggests getting a checkup and cleaning every six months not only for prevention, but to catch complications before they become more costly, difficult, and painful to treat. Instead of waiting for a cavity to see the dentist, regular appointments can help you keep better track of your oral health.
If you’ve ever felt self-conscious about the appearance of your smile, cosmetic dentistry is what can make that smile beautiful again. Mostly dedicated to elective treatments which can help you achieve aesthetic smile-goals, cosmetic dentistry can also improve the function of your teeth.
Dental implants, for example, can replace your missing teeth. This doesn’t just restore your beautiful smile, but can also maintain a healthy bite and ensure you don’t lose bone mass, in your jaw.
One of the most common cosmetic dental procedures is professional teeth whitening, which can help you remove stains making your teeth appear yellow. Done during an in-office appointment or at home, professional whitening uses a solution that can dissolve stains, making your teeth up significantly whiter.
TMJ support is one of the less known functions of a dentist. The temporomandibular joint is connected to your skull, and is a complex joint that allows your jaw to move in many different ways. When this joint malfunctions, it can cause jaw mobility issues, muscle soreness, and a range of other symptoms that can be painful and difficult to deal with. While many of the TMJ treatments out there involve medication or intervention, your dentist can provide support in the form of drug-free treatment. Using a custom-crafted mouth splint worn at night, your jaw will be given the support it needs to begin to heal.
If it’s been awhile since your last appointment, consider scheduling one as soon as possible.