Regular dental checkups are essential to protect your oral health, but did you know that your dentist could end up saving far more than your teeth? Here are three potentially life-saving effects of a trip to the dentist.
1. Preventing Complications of Gum Disease
According to medical research, gum disease is not only associated with tooth loss and bad breath, but also with a range of serious health conditions. People who have gum disease are more likely to develop certain types of cancer, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis than people whose gums are healthy. Dentists think that the bacteria that cause gum disease could be to blame.
Regular checkups with your dentist can lead to an early diagnosis of gum disease. Your dentist can then prescribe you a medicated mouth rinse or give you in-office treatments to halt gum disease in its tracks.
2. Timely Treatment for Infections
An infection that begins in your mouth can travel through the blood to other parts of your body, including your brain and heart. The risk of dying from such an infection is small, but it is definitely not zero.
Ignoring an abscess, a decayed tooth, or another painful dental issue can give an infection chance to take hold. If you have dental pain, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. More serious signs of infection, such as swelling or pus, necessitate an emergency appointment. Your dentist can remove or repair the tooth at the centre of the infection and give you antibiotics to treat the infection before it starts to spread.
3. Early Detection of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is most common in people who smoke or drink heavily, but it can affect anyone. The early signs, which include ulcers that do not heal and red patches inside the mouth, can be easy to overlook. Dentists are trained to spot these symptoms during a checkup or treatment appointment. You might think you are going to the dentist for a simple filling, but you are actually getting a cancer check at the same time. Don't miss this opportunity to look after your health.
For some people, the thought of being diagnosed with cancer is so scary that they might want to avoid dental appointments for this reason. If this is you, rest assured that oral cancer is very treatable if it is diagnosed early. See your dentist regularly to ensure that you are diagnosed and treated before the cancer can spread.
To learn more, contact a dental clinic like Queen Street Dental Care.