It can be easy to put off regular exams with your dentist in the Lehigh Valley. “I don’t have any dental problems.” You tell yourself. “I brush twice a day and floss, why should I have to go back again?” You tell your family. However, putting off your dental exam is a slippery slope. Not only will your oral health suffer, but you risk missing the early signs of oral cancer.
Here are just a few reasons why you’ll want to make it to the dentist twice a year for examinations.
Your Dentist Can Detect Early Signs of Oral Cancer
You may not even realize it, but every time you have a dental exam, your dentist is looking for early signs of oral cancer. This includes red or whitish patches inside your mouth or other changes in color, shape, or size of your skin’s pigmentation. If you notice difficulty chewing and swallowing food or have a chronic sore throat for no apparent reason, your dentist should know.
Dentists Can Help You Improve Your Brushing Technique
On a lighter note, your dentist can also offer advice on how to brush your teeth more effectively. If they notice plaque buildup on the sides of your teeth or notice your gums bleed after they clean in between them, they’ll remind you how to address it properly.
If your dentist informs you of a cavity, even if you brush regularly, it could be a sign of insufficient brushing. Many people don’t brush their teeth for long enough, causing them to miss less noticeable areas of their mouth. If you don’t floss at least once a day, your dentist will know and explain its importance. Bleeding gums while cleaning is the number one sign of early gum disease.
They Can Also Catch Early Signs of Gum Disease
One of the biggest reasons gum disease is so dangerous is because you don’t necessarily feel pain when you have it. Gum disease is usually not visible in its early stages, so dental exams can help you catch it before it turns into periodontitis.
If you don’t catch gum disease early, it can cause a host of other problems. Diseased gums are more likely to swell, allowing more bacteria to enter the body. That means infections are no longer contained in the mouth; they can also spread to other parts of the body such as the heart or brain.
Committing to regular dental exams is not just a commitment to your oral health, but your overall health as well. Schedule an appointment with your dentist in the Lehigh Valley today!
About the Author
Dr. S. John Salivonchik earned his BS from Muhlenberg College before obtaining his DMD from Temple Dental School where he graduated summa cum laude. Treating cancer is so important to him, he established a charity where fees from teeth-whitening go directly to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund at the University of Minnesota. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (610) 502-1545 or visit his website.