Although it may not be an appointment that everyone looks forward to, going to the dentist every six months is one of the most crucial ones to maintain. We have some food for thought if you’ve ever wondered whether it’s actually necessary to have regular dental cleanings and exams.

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Make sure you weigh all the hazards before skipping a dental exam due to expense or another reason, such as time constraints or dental phobia. The long-term costs of skipping dental appointments might be substantially greater for your pocketbook as well as your mental health. The following are some of the main justifications for scheduling routine dental visits:

1. Evaluation for Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a very dangerous condition that can show up in a number of ways. Oral cancer may spread swiftly and become life-threatening if the early warning signals are not recognized, which can lead to a diagnosis that is frequently missed. Fortunately, though, oral cancer that is detected in its early stages is frequently curable.

The chances of detecting oral cancer early on are significantly increased with routine dental exams every six months, and your dentist is well qualified to identify these warning signs and symptoms. It’s important to detect oral cancer early on for effective treatment; even though you might not see any anomalies in your mouth, your dentist will.

A cancer exam takes about a minute or two at most, is completely painless, non-invasive, and often covered by MSP. The scan uses a special light to shine into the mouth to detect undetectable symptoms of dead tissue produced by growing tumors. Could save your life, requires very little effort, and is completely painless? It makes perfect sense!

2. Cavities, Tartar, and Plaque

There are little parts of the mouth that are ignored by frequent brushing and flossing, even for the most conscientious daily users. Plaque gets harder to remove when it accumulates and solidifies into tartar, which is very challenging to remove without expert assistance.

Tooth erosion and hole creation caused by tartar are avoided by routine dental cleanings, which is how cavities are formed. Cavities seldom exhibit any symptoms when they first appear; instead, they only cause a little soreness when the tooth has already begun to deteriorate. You will need to return to the dentist to have cavities and other dental issues filled and repaired after the harm has been done. Regular cleanings that address plaque and tartar before they become harmful can prevent all of this.

Additionally, scheduling a cleaning is less expensive than scheduling a filling, so if money is limited, be sure to schedule your cleanings!

3. Periodontal Disease

In addition to causing tooth decay, plaque and tartar accumulation can also damage the gums in the mouth. This occurs when an illness brought on by tartar accumulation pulls the gum away from the tooth at the point where it connects. Gingivitis is the name of this illness, which causes the tissue that connects the gums to the teeth to deteriorate as it spreads.

It is only at this stage that gum disease is formally diagnosed, and only then is it probable that any swelling, bleeding, or discomfort in the mouth will occur. Gum disease not only results in the destruction of gum tissue but also in the degeneration of the bone that supports teeth. At this stage, it’s typical to see teeth becoming looser or falling out completely, in which case a dentist professional will need to use extreme treatment techniques.

In addition to requiring extra sessions and probably breaking the bank, experts may also treat gum disease with surgery, very thorough cleaning, and medication, depending on how severe it is. Regular dental cleanings are crucial for identifying and treating gingivitis early on in order to prevent all of this.

4. Reducing Adverse Behavior

Your dental health can be negatively impacted by a variety of unhealthy behaviors, some of which you might not even be aware are creating problems. Among these are the following: biting your nails, chewing ice, clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth, eating really hard or sticky candies, cleaning your teeth too vigorously, consuming red wine and coffee, and, of course, smoking.

Your dentist can examine for oral damage caused by these or other behaviors that you might not have detected otherwise when you undergo your dental examinations. Knowing which particular harmful habits to avoid will help you modify your lifestyle and stop more harm from occurring. By going to the dentist, you may restore any harm that has already occurred and promote the finest possible dental health.

5. Use X-rays to Locate Issues Beneath the Surface

Having an x-ray of your teeth and jaw bone taken is an essential aspect of seeing your dentist every six months. Dental practitioners may identify and diagnose problems using X-ray pictures that may be undetectable to the unaided eye by seeing under the surfaces of your mouth. Issues of this nature may include impacted teeth, commonly associated with wisdom teeth, which are developing teeth that are prevented from erupting through the gum line.

Aside from bone degeneration, swelling, cysts, and tumors—all of which are invisible without x-ray imaging—damage to the mandible can also be identified. It is essential to identify these and any other significant oral health problems as soon as possible in order to treat them effectively.

The best approach to stay on top of your health is to get biannual examinations and up-to-date x-rays, especially if you have a damaging illness that progresses swiftly but shows little to no symptoms.

6. Exams of the Head, Neck, and Lymph Nodes

Your dentist will examine your neck, jaw, and lymph nodes, which are located immediately below your jawline, for any swelling, lumps, or other abnormalities in addition to inspecting your mouth, gums, and tongue for indications of oral cancer. If an anomaly is discovered, it may indicate a serious health problem. Your dentist will notify you of this and recommend that you see the right physician.

When correctly diagnosed by a specialist, swollen lymph nodes—a particular location that may not pain or appear abnormal—may indicate certain types of cancer or other conditions that need to be treated right away. The frequency of thyroid and neck gland examinations is significantly reduced if you do not have frequent dental checks. It may just take a minute for your dentist to search for anomalies, but it might mean that a very dangerous illness is found early enough to significantly impact treatment.