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Your regular dental checkups may not seem worth the effort, but missing out on these dentist visits can be detrimental to your health. Oral issues can occur and progress without a person noticing, until it is too late. Regular checkups help you keep on top of your dental health, over and above what you can do at home.

Dentists are not only concerned with fixing teeth, but aim to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy, and that there are no abnormalities that could be a sign of larger health issues. They make sure your bones are strong, and help you correct any habits that may be negatively affecting your oral health.

During dental checkups your dentist will professionally clean your mouth and teeth, and examine the mouth for any signs of disease, among other examinations.

6 Reasons to Have a Dental Checkup

1. Oral Cancer Detection

Most people are not aware of the early signs, and therefore, oral cancer is often not diagnosed. Oral cancer can quickly progress and become life threatening, which is why it is important that the early signs are detected, diagnosed and treated.

Your dentist is highly trained to detect and diagnose oral cancer, and with dental checkups every six months, it is more likely your dentist will catch the start of oral cancer early.

2. Plaque, Tartar, and Cavities

A professional cleaning from the dentist ensures you mouth is free of plaque and harmful bacteria that accumulates in the places of the mouth that are the hardest to reach. Even if you are a person who brushes and flosses their teeth diligently, it is difficult to get rid of all the plaque build up without professional help. These cleanings will save you running the risk of tooth decay and the formation of cavities in the teeth.

3. Gum Disease

Professional cleanings do not only save you from tooth decay, but also the erosion of the gum tissue. This can occur when tartar build up causes an infection between the tooth and the gum tissue, causing the tissue to pull away from the tooth. Gum disease can progress rapidly and can have irreversible effects on the mouth. Your dentist will be able to identify the early signs of gum disease and stop the condition in its tracks.

4. Keeping Bad Habits in Check

Your dentist will be able to warn you of the negative effects that your habits may be having on your dental health. You may not realise it but habits such as chewing ice, biting your nails, clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth, eating particularly sticky or hard sweets, brushing your teeth too hard, drinking coffee and red wine, and of course smoking, all have negative effects. Being informed of the damage caused by these habits allows you to change your lifestyle to avoid more damage.

5. X-Rays Reveal Oral Issues Under the Surface

X-ray images taken during your checkups allow dentists to see what is happening beneath the surfaces of your mouth. Using the X-rays, they can identify and diagnose issues, such as impacted teeth, which are growing teeth that are prevented by other teeth from pushing through the gum line. This is often seen in wisdom teeth. Other conditions, such as swelling, cysts, and other abnormalities can be detected from X-rays.

6. Head, Neck, and Lymph Nodes

During a checkup, your dentist will also check your neck, jaw, and lymph nodes, which are located just below your jawline, for any swelling, lumps, or other abnormalities. If an abnormality is found, it could be a sign of a major health issue, and your dentist will alert you to it and refer you to the appropriate medical professional.

Mckell/Packer Dental

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