Some pieces of advice are so well-worn, we never question them. Most people need to drink more water. Exercise is good for you. You need to go to the dentist twice a year.
But, at Dental Arts of Edgewater, talented providers Dr. Michael Moawad and Dr. Jessica Listwa don’t want you to come for regular dental cleanings and exams just because you think it’s expected. We want you to understand the benefits of those visits and how they’re connected to your overall health.
The value of regular dental exams
You may not realize it, but your oral health can offer important clues about potential health issues before you have any other signs or symptoms. Researchers have discovered associations between oral health and heart disease, pneumonia, diabetes, osteoporosis, and many other common, chronic conditions.
Scientists are still working to understand some of those links. For example, it appears that clogged arteries and oral bacteria have some connection. Other associations are better understood — diabetes, for instance, lowers your resistance to infection, which makes it more likely you will develop gum disease.
When you have regular dental exams, your dentist checks for signs of inflammation, infection, or other problems, like bruxism or teeth-grinding, which could be a symptom of sleep apnea. If Dr. Moawad or Dr. Listwa notice symptoms, they can refer you for additional testing.
Professional dental cleanings and oral health
You can have the most thorough at-home dental hygiene routine possible, and still need regular professional cleanings. That’s because flossing and brushing only get you so far.
Periodontal disease affects almost half of adults age 30 and over in the United States. It’s the leading cause of tooth decay. Along with brushing and flossing at home, regular dental cleanings are your best weapon when it comes to preventing gum disease.
Each time you eat or drink, tiny particles of food are left behind. Bacteria that live in your mouth thrive on those particles. Over time, a film called plaque forms, and if it stays on your teeth it hardens. This hardened substance, called tartar, builds up and spreads to your gum line.
Once tartar gets under your gums, it irritates them, causing inflammation and eventually infection. You may notice that your gums are red or tender, or they may bleed when you brush. Over time, the inflammation and infection can even affect your jaw bone.
Professional dental cleanings remove the plaque and any tartar building up, keeping your gums, teeth, and bones healthy. Some people have a greater risk of gum disease. If you smoke, have diabetes, a family history of periodontal disease, an underlying condition that weakens your immune system, or your teeth are positioned in a way that makes it difficult to keep them clean, you may need more frequent dental cleanings.
Is it time?
Are you due for a dental exam or professional cleaning? We are happy to help! The professionals at Dental Arts of Edgewater want to help you maintain excellent oral health. Schedule your appointment today and protect your health.