Dr. Jessica Wyatt
Elite Dental and Aesthetics
131 NW 100th Ave
Plantation, FL 33324
Most everyone knows that you should see your dentist twice a year. Surprisingly, a large number of people go months or even years without stepping foot into a dental office. How important is it to see the dentist regularly? Should you go in even if you feel like nothing is wrong? Here are some signs that it’s time to go to the dentist:
1. It’s been a while (even if you don’t have pain) – One of the most disappointing things I see as a dentist is a young, healthy person who has a mouthful of decay and doesn’t even know it. Cavities can grow inside a tooth for several months without presenting any symptoms. When cavities are small, the treatment (a filling) is easy, painless, and inexpensive. Once cavities become large, the tooth may need more aggressive treatment, such as a crown or a root canal treatment.
2. You have diabetes – Diabetes can increase the amount of inflammation in the body, including the mouth. If you are diabetic, you are at higher risk of gum disease, a condition in which the bone and gums around your teeth become infected. It can result in loose teeth that may have to be removed. Regular cleanings can prevent the escalation of gum disease.
3. You are pregnant or considering getting pregnant – The hormonal changes in pregnancy can affect the oral environment. It is not uncommon for expectant mothers to have tender, swollen, or bleeding gums. If you are pregnant, regular dental cleanings can help keep you and your baby healthy.
4. You are or were a smoker (or used chewing tobacco) – Tobacco can cause gum disease, decay, and even oral cancer. If you are a smoker, getting your mouth looked at and your teeth cleaned every 6 months is a must. The dentists in our office use an oral cancer detection device called Velscope to visualize any suspicious lesions.
As the adage says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” From our perspective, no other words best describe the importance of protecting and keeping our patient’s oral health.