Scheduling and keeping dental appointments every six months may seem like a burden, but these preventive checkups with your dentist in Chapel Hill are crucial to maintaining good oral health. Like most things in life, your oral health needs to be checked on regularly in order to identify potential problems before they have a chance to become bigger concerns. In fact, these visits could even save your life. Join us as we talk about the importance of regular dental visits.
Starting off with the most serious dental disease, oral cancer is common and can lead to death if not treated proactively. In 2022 alone, about 54,000 new cases of the oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer were diagnosed, and these cancers accounted for more than 11,000 deaths. But preventive dental checkups every six months can help diagnose oral cancer early when treatment is often more successful. Anyone can develop oral cancer in their lifetime, but those who smoke, drink alcohol, or are over 55 are more likely to get the disease. This makes regular dental checkups incredibly important not only for everyone but especially for those at high risk.
Gum disease is another serious oral health condition that can cause not only oral health complications but whole-body health concerns as well. When caught early, gum disease can often be treated and even reversed successfully. However, advanced gum disease may be irreversible and can lead to tooth loss, heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and other serious problems. Preventive dental checkups every six months with your dentist in Chapel Hill help monitor changes in oral health and can be key to catching gum disease early.
While cavities are incredibly common and fixed easily by dental fillings, they can become big problems if they aren’t treated quickly. Small cavities may not be noticeable to the naked eye and may not have any symptoms, but this is the best time to stop a cavity in its tracks. Your dentist in Chapel Hill will be able to diagnose cavities at regular checkups through thorough exams and dental x-rays. If left untreated for too long, they can require more in-depth treatment such as a root canal, dental crown, or extraction.
Last, but certainly not least, are dental cleanings. At each checkup, your dental team will perform gentle cleanings that remove plaque and tartar that will accumulate on teeth over time, no matter how well you brush and floss at home. Removing this buildup will help prevent bacteria from building up and reduce the risk of several problems mentioned above including cavities and gum disease.
Don’t forget to schedule (and keep!) your dental appointments this year. They’re crucial to maintaining and healthy smile and protecting your overall health.