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Why You Shouldn't Skip Your Regular Dental Exam

Whether you’ve put off scheduling a bi-annual dental exam because of fear, inconvenience, or expense, skipping a dental exam can increase your risk of serious damage from untreated tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. 

Along with daily brushing and flossing, bi-annual dental exams can ultimately save you time, money, and discomfort. These visits help your dentist identify issues before you need complicated and expensive procedures to restore normal function. Regular dental exams can also help identify changes in your teeth and gums that may be signs of overall health problems. 

You can make the most of your visits by consulting with professionals who administer comprehensive dental exams. Dental exam specialist Eric Koch, DDS, of Advanced Dental Care of East Texas, provides professional dental exams that include an expert assessment of your oral health and preventive dental cleaning

The staff at Advanced Dental Care of East Texas encourages patients to schedule bi-annual dental exams whether or not they’re experiencing dental issues. Find out more about the benefits of scheduling bi-annual dental exams.

Preserve your smile

A regular dental exam includes several procedures intended to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Dr. Koch looks for evidence of disease and decay since these issues can exist without symptoms in their earliest stages.

While brushing regularly is key to maintaining oral hygiene, you can develop tooth decay without knowing it. About 26% of adults age 20 to 64 live with untreated tooth decay.

A small handheld mirror helps Dr. Koch examine less visible areas of your mouth like the interior surfaces of your teeth. Special dental X-rays can help in the assessment of your teeth, gums, and tooth roots. 

Dr. Koch also examines your mouth to determine the need for necessary treatments such as fillings for cavities, a root canal, or a dental crown. 

A dental exam is an opportunity to discuss your concerns as well as the benefits of orthodontic or cosmetic treatments you might be considering. Based on his observations, Dr. Koch can respond to your questions with answers related to your condition. 

Protect gum health

During your dental exam, Dr. Koch also assesses your gum health by examining gum recession, firmness, and bleeding. That part of the examination is important because it’s possible for the early stages of gum disease, called gingivitis, to develop without symptoms. 

Dr. Koch assesses your risk for gum disease with a special dental tool called a periodontal probe. This dental ruler measures the depth of the space between each tooth and your gum line. When pocket depths exceed 4 mm, it’s usually a sign of gum disease and a cause for treatment.

Screen for oral cancer

Bi-annual dental exams provide a solid defense against the effects of oral cancer. These diseases include cancers of the lips, cheek palate, tongue, throat, and floor of your mouth. A painless visual examination of these areas and your neck and head can indicate early signs of oral cancer. 

During an oral cancer screening, Dr. Koch looks for sores, red or white patches, and other unexplained growth that you may not realize exist, especially if they develop under your tongue or behind your teeth. Maintaining a schedule of bi-annual dental exams increases your chances of finding signs of oral cancer early when there is a high success rate of treatment. 

Remove plaque and tartar

The preventive dental cleaning you receive during your dental exam helps remove plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach areas of your teeth. If you have stubborn areas of buildup, Dr. Koch may use a dental tool called a scraper to remove them. 

A preventive dental cleaning uses a mildly abrasive professional toothpaste and a high-powered toothbrush. This combination delivers a thorough, deep cleaning that you can’t achieve at home.

Professional flossing after your cleaning ensures that your entire mouth is clean. If necessary, Dr. Koch also addresses correct oral hygiene techniques if it’s obvious that you’re not brushing or flossing properly.  

Identify potential health issues

In addition to protecting your oral health, bi-annual dental exams can identify signs of physical diseases. Conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease, and some cancers can produce oral symptoms like mouth ulcers, bad breath, swollen gums, or dry mouth that you may not recognize. 

Skipping regular dental exams increases your risk of overlooking dangerous chronic conditions that are best treated in their earliest stages. When necessary, Dr. Koch advises you of the need to follow up with other medical professionals for a physical evaluation. 

Protect your mouth and your overall well-being by making time for bi-annual dental checkups. Schedule an appointment online or call Advanced Dental Care of East Texas in Jasper, Texas, to arrange a consultation.

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