By Dr. Sangita Venkatesh, D.M.D
While brushing twice a day and flossing is very important to maintaining good oral health, it alone is not enough. The reason it’s not enough is because, after every meal left over food particle and saliva mix and form a sticky substance called plaque. This is problematic because it contains bacteria and it eats away the enamel that protects the teeth and thereby causes cavities and tooth decay. If you don’t have the habit of brushing and flossing your teeth properly after every meal, this plaque keeps accumulating and over a period hardens to a point, a regular brush can’t remove them no matter how many times or how hard you brush. This hardened plaque is called tartar. The tartar is the substance that looks yellow on your teeth and causes smell and bad breath. The tartars can only be cleaned by a professional dentist or a hygienist. They do this by scraping them away with special tools. It’s very difficult and takes a lot of motivation and belief to brush and floss after every meal and as life unfolds many of us keep postponing healthcare in general and oral care particularly and this only worsens the situation.
Gum disease is the mildest form of periodontitis and is reversible with professional treatment and good home care. If left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis as the tartar will start to build below your gum line and with periodontal disease there are more harmful, destructive bacteria present that have the potential to destroy your jaw bone and other supporting structures around the teeth. The body’s natural reaction to this is to fight the bacteria by losing bone. As you might know, the teeth are held in place by the bone. As you might also know, bone loss is irreversible and over a period it will cause the teeth to become loose and eventually tooth loss. Its therefore very critical to visit your dentist regularly so well trained eyes can provide the right treatment and care for your oral health. As I mentioned earlier, Oral health is also an indication of underlying health conditions and so your dentist may recommend follow up visits to your physician to address them.
Another factor to consider is the cost of delayed dental care. While most insurances cover healthy mouth cleaning twice a year with no out of pocket expenses, they also provide benefits with some out of pocket expenses for other dental necessities including deep cleaning, cavity fillings, crowns etc … Most dental conditions are cost effective and best treated early when they are not too serious. For e.g. cavities are best treated when they are small as they only grow if left untreated for a long period of time. As cavities do not cause any discomfort when they are small and are virtually invisible to untrained eyes, not visiting a dentist regularly will not only cause them to grow bigger but also cost more when its detected at a later stage. Sometimes delaying treatment for cavities might lead to root canal treatment or possibly even extraction of the tooth as your dentist may not be able to save the tooth if the cavity has decayed the tooth beyond restorable limits. Needless to mention, root canal treatment is more expensive compared to a filling. While the cost of extraction itself is comparable to the cost of cavity filling, depending on your age and lifestyle needs, replacing a lost tooth can be very expensive. Some of the replacement options for a lost tooth are bridge, implant or partial denture etc… depending on one’s dental necessities.
In summary, it’s in your best interest to visit a dentist regularly for maintaining good oral health as it provides the best possible care at the right time for your dental necessities. It also keeps the expenses down for dental care regardless of whether you have insurance or not. It also gives you a chance to keep your overall health in check. So, what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and call your dentist and make an appointment for a treatment he or she may have already recommended for you or get an assessment of your current oral health. If you do not currently have a dentist or are not satisfied with your current dentist, I will be more than happy to be your family’s dentist. I am a general dentist at Bright Smiles in Cumming, GA. I provide most dental services in house for the whole family including small children and adults.
Whether it is a simple cleaning, cavity filling, complex oral surgery like extraction including wisdom teeth, implants or braces for children and adults, I can help you with best possible oral care for your family. At Bright Smiles, you can count on honest, reliable and quality dental care. Bright Smiles is located at 907 Buford Hwy #100 Cumming, GA 30041. You can call (678) 922-8282 or visit https://www.BrightSmilesGA.com to learn about our office or make an appointment.
Source: Wisdom Bites
Dental Health Checks By Dr.…