Regular trips to the family dentist are essential for staying healthy. Ensuring that the mouth is in tip-top shape can aid the body in defending against harmful bacteria. Even with a good at-home oral health regimen, keeping up with regular exams as recommended is crucial to catching new developments sooner.
Why is dental health so important?
The body's immune system repels foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. However, the immune system is not always able to fend off all attacks, and a person can become ill. Sometimes this is due to the way the harmful cells enter the body. The mouth can become an unwitting ally to bacteria if it is not well maintained.
When oral health is compromised by a condition such as gum disease, the pockets between the gum tissue and teeth allow an easy path for harmful bacteria to enter the body's bloodstream. While at-home dental health is crucial to keeping bacteria away, only a dental exam can find and fix certain oral health issues that put the body at risk for infection.
What to expect at a family dentist exam
Sometimes a person may stay away from regular dental care out of fear. This trepidation often can be resolved with better understanding of the common elements of a family dentist exam. Knowing what to expect can ease the mind of a nervous patient.
One way a dentist can diagnose dental issues is through X-rays. These allow the provider a peek under the gums and inside teeth to find any underlying issues. Annual X-rays also help dentists keep track of the progression of things such as gum disease from year to year. Improvements in dental health can also show in follow-up visits.
A dental hygenist performs a basic cleaning of the teeth during a regular dental exam. The hygenist can spot areas of the mouth that need extra attention. Even performing twice-daily home cleanings does not completely keep teeth free of plaque and tartar buildup. Plaque is sticky and helps attract new bacteria to the surface of the tooth. Tartar is a hard shell that plaque eventually becomes when left on the surface. According to the Mayo Clinic, tartar can lead to gum disease, so having the teeth cleaned by a hygenist effectively removes trouble spots.
The dentist reviews a patient's X-rays and the dental hygienist's observations before examining the mouth. During this time, the dentist notes imperfections in the teeth and any indications that the gums are infected. At this time, the dentist also goes over any findings such as cavities or problems with roots. If required, a treatment plan is recommended for rectifying any critical issues.
Including a trip to the family dentist among the schedule for regular medical exams can help keep your body healthy. Allowing a dental practitioner a glimpse into the mouth can not only diagnose any developing gum disease or other issues but also keep your smile bright for many years to come.
Request an appointment or call GDC Smiles at 770-504-5725 for an appointment in our Gainesville office.
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