Although regular dental examinations and excellent oral hygiene care can help to prevent most dental disease, 100 million people in the United States do not see a dentist each year! Below is a list from the American Dental Association of top questions regarding visiting the dentist:
1. Why Do Regular Visits Matter? Regular dental visits provide the opportunity to catch dental problems at an early stage. Dental disease and other health issues can be prevented through routine dental maintenance and professional care. Some symptoms of other diseases and medical problems can be revealed during a dental examination.
2. What Are Some Signs I Should See a Dentist?
You have teeth that are sensitive.
Your gums are swollen and/or may bleed regularly while brushing or flossing.
You have dental fillings, crowns, implants, or other dental restorations.
You are unhappy with the way your teeth or smile look.
You constantly have bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
You are pregnant.
You have problems with chewing or swallowing.
You have a family history of dental decay or gum disease.
You have a medical condition such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eating disorders, etc.
You frequently have a dry mouth.
You smoke, vape, or use other tobacco products.
You are going through medical treatment such as chemotherapy, hormone replacement, or radiation.
Your jaw joint (TMJ) is
, you notice a popping noise when opening your mouth, or your bite feels uneven.
You have an area or sore spot in your mouth that doesn’t go away.
3. I Have No Symptoms. Do I Still Need to Visit a Dentist?
Yes. Even if you are not experiencing any apparent symptoms, you may still have a dental problem that can only be diagnosed by your dentist. Preventive care from your dental professionals can help prevent dental problems and can benefit your overall medical health as well. Keep your dentist current with your medical history because many health conditions also affect your dental health.
4. What Can I Expect from a Dental Visit?
Your dental professionals will review your medical history, examine your mouth and determine if any x-rays are needed. Also, any dental restorations or previous dental treatments will be noted into your chart. During a complete exam, measurements will be taken to check your gums for gum disease. Your dentist will evaluate your overall dental health and perform an oral cancer screening by checking your tongue and your whole mouth, then feeling your jaw and neck for any abnormalities.