Most of us understand how important dental checkups are to maintain healthy teeth and gums. But you may not know that dental checkups are good for your overall health as well. The condition of your mouth is often an indication of other issues taking place in your body. Many diseases and mineral or vitamin deficiencies, for example, make themselves known through symptoms that appear in the mouth. And oral health conditions – such as tooth decay and gum disease – are linked to other health problems. Here are some of the many reasons why dental checkups are so important:
- Early detection of cavities and gum disease – As is the case with almost any health condition, the earlier tooth and gum issues are detected, the easier they are to treat. Going in for regular dental checkups helps to make early detection possible. Catching tooth decay in its early stages is one good example. As we all know, if it’s found early on tooth decay is easy to resolve. But if tooth decay is left untreated, infection can develop. That infection can then spread into the pulp and roots of your teeth, and from there it can spread into your bloodstream. Remember also that gum disease has been linked to other more serious health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s disease. By maintaining a good oral health regimen at home, and by visiting your dentist for regular dental exams, you can better monitor your oral health – and that can be an indicator of how your overall health is as well.
- Early detection of oral cancer – The same holds true for oral cancer. The earlier this condition is found, the easier it is to treat. It’s important to remember that oral cancer is not only treatable if caught early on, it’s also usually preventable if a patient avoids certain habits like smoking and chewing tobacco, for example. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis allows your dental professional to detect any issues in the very early stages, and to recommend changes that you can make in your own lifestyle to avoid problems that may occur later on.
- Resolving sleep disorders – If you have a hard time going to sleep or staying asleep, it may be related to oral issues that may result in airway blockages while you’re sleeping. Your dentist may be able to recommend non-surgical methods to resolve these problems, such as a mouth guard that you can wear while you sleep that keeps your airway open.
If you’re due (and especially if you’re overdue) for a dental checkup, call your dentist office today to make an appointment. Not only are you doing what’s right for your oral health, you’ll be doing what’s best for your overall health as well.