By Susan Braden
One of the myths of our time is that daily oral hygiene maintenance, such as flossing, swishing mouthwash, and brushing your teeth habitually, will result in lifelong oral health. Although such healthy habits can improve and maintain your oral health long-term, there are subtle, dangerous oral conditions that can only be effectively addressed at an early phase by a professional dentist.
Regular checkups with your dentist are vital to maintaining that ‘million dollar smile,’ and for those without a million dollars, affordable dental care is a great option. Here are the top 3 reasons why you should visit your dentist.
With over 300,000 cases diagnosed every year, oral cancer has been coined “the silent disease.” The primary cause of oral cancer is smoking and the habitual or binge drinking of alcoholic beverages. Although it can affect sensitive areas, including your inner mouth and upper throat, or even multiple areas at once, oral cancer has a high rate of cure if diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion.
Beginning phases of oral cancer may appear in your mouth as ulcers or lumps, which you may write-off as minor problems, but if they do not heal within three weeks, or if you experience neck swelling, difficulty swallowing, white patches on your mouth’s inner lining, or numbness and difficulty moving your tongue, then you have the symptoms of oral cancer, and should visit a dentist immediately.
Bacterial infection of your teeth causes tooth decay, one of the most widespread oral problems today, likely correlated to the declining rate of dentist visits. Because of plaque buildup, perhaps due to infrequent cleanings at a dentist, your tooth enamel may break down, allowing cavities to form. Cavities allow bacteria and plaque to target both the tender dentine in your teeth and your vital tooth pulp – the nerves and blood vessels of your teeth’s living tissue.
Because cavities may not seem a problem until the decay has seriously progressed, routine checkups are necessary to prevent surprisingly expensive dentistry repairs. To identify early problems, be aware that tooth pain, poor-smelling breath, an undesired, unpleasant taste in your mouth, and discolored, spotted teeth are symptoms experienced by patients attacked by tooth decay.
Do you experience discomfort or blood drops while brushing your teeth? Often times, bleeding, sensitive gums can be an early warning sign of gingivitis, also known as gum disease (and in its severe form, periodontal disease.)
Gum disease is triggered by the sticky plaque on your teeth turning into hard tartar, which may irritate your gums and cause inflammation if allowed to build up. However, consistent, proper oral hygiene can remove this plaque from your teeth before it leads to gum disease. If you experience sensitive gums or a smelly, unpleasant tasting mouth, then you may be experiencing symptoms of gum disease. Damage of the tissue that connects your tooth to its socket may be a warning sign of severe periodontal disease. If you suspect that you have diseased gums, gaining affordable care should be your priority in light of the high cost of necessary periodontal work.
Amongst your life’s oral concerns, the money needed for dentistry work should be the least of your worries. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of dentistry, each of these oral issues may be exacerbated by the financial stress that you can experience due to costly procedures. However, you may want to investigate affordable dental plans available that can help with your financial and oral well-being.
For more affordable dental care info from Susan Braden, see this article.