Practically everyone has been told at one point or another that regularly visiting the dentist is fundamental to one’s health. However, the numbers of individuals who actually visit the dentist regularly has drastically decreased over the years, with more than half of all adults neglecting to do so at least once a year. We commonly hear that we should go to the dentist, but never really understand the reasons why. Instead, questions like “why are regular dentist trips really important” and “is going to the dentist really worth it” tend to further prolong scheduling an appointment. If you have wondered these questions or similar ones yourself, keep reading for answers.
Dentists Ensure Excellent Oral Health
Let’s start with an extremely broad reason why regular trips to the dentist are so important: dentist appointments ensure that you are maintaining excellent oral health, as well as check for and prevent other health issues indicated within your mouth.
Unlike what most assume, oral health is much more than keeping your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy. Since your mouth is the primary entryway into your body, poor oral health can not only lead to negative consequences for your teeth and gums, but also for your entire body. Harmful bacteria left in your mouth can easily enter your bloodstream, possibly leading to several infections and diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, pregnancy complications, and respiratory infections. As far as your teeth and gums go, poor oral health can lead to countless different issues, like diseased teeth, a misshapen jaw, cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and so much more. During your appointments, dentists prevent all these potential issues from happening by deeply cleansing your mouth as they remove plaque, tartar, and other harmful bacteria from your teeth, while also examining your mouth for any indications of harmful diseases.
We will discuss the exact implications of poor oral health on your entire body another time, but for now, let’s stick with talking about the ramifications of poor oral health on your teeth: the buildup of harmful bacteria called plaque and tartar.
Your Teeth’s Worst Enemy: Plaque and Tartar
Plaque is the direct cause of multiple oral health issues. But, what exactly is it? If you run your tongue over your teeth right now, you will probably feel it. In short, plaque is basically a sticky, colorless film that contains bacteria. It builds up naturally on all tooth surfaces within four to 12 hours after brushing, especially along your gum line. When plaque, saliva, fluids, and sugars in food or drinks combine, the bacteria within the plaque forms bacteria deposits, which subsequently release acids. These acids can permanently damage your gums and cavities, as well as harm your tooth enamel. It becomes even more problematic when the plaque is allowed to accumulate and not removed within a timely manner. If not removed, the accumulation of plaque can mineralize, causing stains and transforming into tartar.
Tartar is basically a more extreme version of plaque. As previously mentioned, tartar is created when plaque is left on the surface of a tooth long enough to mineralize. In other words, it is the result of plaque reacting with minerals in your saliva. Basically, tartar is a hard, crusty, yellow or brown colored deposit that not only further causes stains and cavities, but also leads to tooth discoloration, tooth decay, and gum disease. The rate at which plaque and tartar build up differs depending on both age and individual factors.
Put simply, you do not want to allow plaque and tartar to buildup and consume your mouth. Excessive amounts of this bacteria can lead to further, more serious health concerns. If allowed to continuously manifest, plaque and tartar can eventually cause gum disease or periodontal disease, which causes a loss of teeth, infections, pain, and several other complications. This is also the bacteria that can easily enter your bloodstream and create multiple different bodily problems.
Dentists Thoroughly Remove Plaque And Tartar
When you brush your teeth each day, some of the inevitable bacteria still remains in places that are either difficult to reach, or that you simply can’t see. In fact, a general brushing only removes around 40% of the total amount of plaque in your mouth. Most individuals are also not trained professionals and are not exactly sure what particular spots to target or where the bacteria like to hide. However, if this unnoticed plaque or tartar remains untouched, several negative ramifications can occur. Luckily, dentists can help with this issue. Using precise tools and small mirrors, dentists thoroughly remove plaque and tartar from all the little crevices and niches in your teeth that you leave behind. They help to ensure that you walk out of your appointment with a clean, fresh mouth void of damaging bacteria. And, as we already discussed, removing this potentially harmful bacteria dramatically decreases your risk of an innumerable amount of health issues.
Schedule Your Much-Needed Dentist Appointment Now!
It’s not healthy for all that bacteria to sit in your mouth; let the dentist take care of it completely. If you have any questions about oral health or would like to schedule an appointment
give us a call at (919) 834-4450 or fill out our contact form below.