A dental checkup every six months is important for everybody -Even those who take particularly good care of their teeth. Some things can happen to your teeth and gums that aren’t necessarily noticeable until the more advanced stages, such as gum disease, tooth decay and oral cancer, so having a regular check-up can help to identify any of these potential dangers long before you might notice any pain or discomfort.
The build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth can initially cause gingivitis – the swelling and weakening of your gums. If this is left untreated, it can turn into periodontitis, in which infected pockets form between the teeth and the gums. If not seen to early enough, the teeth may become loose and fall out.
Detection of tooth decay at your dental checkup
Cavities, or tooth decay, can occur when bacteria found in plaque cause the mineralised tissues of a tooth to break down. Significant decay can occur without any discomfort or visual signs. You can actually reverse tooth decay and avoid getting a filling if it is detected early enough. Seeing a dentist every six months makes it all but impossible for any decay to get to the point of needing a filling.
Dentists have the skills to detect oral cancer in its very early stages, which is incredibly important. What may feel like an ordinary ulcer to you could be something much more serious. Your dentist will check for any warning signs as part your regular six-month check-up.
In most cases, seeing a dentist every six months is fine. But if you’re a smoker, diabetic, prone to gum disease, have a weak immune response to bacterial infection or prone to cavities and plaque build-up, you might need to see a dentist every three or four months. Seek professional advice if you think this may apply.
The information contained on this website and websites linked to this website (Information) does not constitute or comprise comprehensive medical or dental advice. You should seek dental advice directly from your dentist before acting or relying on the Information.
First published: 06 November 2014