Taking care of our teeth is one of the most important parts of maintaining our physical health, though we might not realize it at first. Still, there are a surprising amount of health issues that come from poor oral hygiene. That’s just one of the multitudinous reasons that we should find a dentist that is good.
If you have trepidations, I certainly understand. Visiting a dentist and getting our teeth cleaned can be nerve-wracking, if only for the possibility of discovering cavities or any other problem that has been hiding from us. No one wants to have to get fillings, after all.
So, if you want to learn more, you might consider checking out this page, and stick with me as I explain what they do and why they are so important for us.
What is a Dentist?
I know – it’s pretty obvious that they are a doctor who works with our mouths, most specifically our teeth, but also gums. However, the role they play in this is multi-faceted, as they have many responsibilities. Regular cleaning services are usually done by assistants, in fact – and the dentist themselves handle any examinations after.
So, one of their main purposes is to educate their patients. This is both on oral hygiene and health practices and on any procedures that they might need performed. This is part of why you walk away from most appointments with a new toothbrush and some toothpaste. My dentist usually provides some floss, as well.
They are there to encourage us to keep up with a routine for caring for our mouths. Obviously, this should include brushing our teeth at least two times a day. Some people go for three, especially if they have an allergy to a common food like tomatoes and form mouth ulcers from ingesting too much acidic food.
Flossing is another necessity that all too often gets overlooked. Without it, plaque can build up between our teeth and effect our gums. This is one contributing factor in gingivitis, which is gum disease. Even if you get something like dental implants from a place like this one, https://www.nuviasmiles.com/blog/how-dental-implants-work, flossing is required for routine upkeep to make them last.
If you do end up having a cavity, usually your dentist is the one to fill it. It is a bit intimidating at first, but overall, the process is really not that scary or painful. Often, I have it done right at that appointment, and from there, the recovery time is very minimal.
Some other responsibilities include removing any debris or decay buildup, repairing any damaged teeth or removing them if said damage is too extensive, examining any x-rays taken and informing you of the results, inserting any fillings or sealants, checking your jaw and teeth growth, and administering anesthetics when applicable. During any of these processes, they should be wearing the proper safety equipment and utilizing the right tools for the job.
This generally includes gloves, goggles, and a mask to protect them and you from any mouth bacteria that could cause infection if on other parts of the body. Their drills, brushes, and scalpels will be safe for use in the mouth. They are a trusted resource in helping us maintain healthiness.
Health Risks from Poor Oral Hygiene
There are a few common signs that you are not taking proper care of your mouth, so I will cover those first. You might notice that you have sores or ulcers that do not go away quickly, even when you try to treat them. If this is unrelated to an allergy like I mentioned above, it might be time to consider visiting a dentist.
Something else is if you notice that your mouth is bleeding after flossing. Usually this comes from your gums. You should continue to floss but know that your gums need a bit more upkeep on the regular. Eventually, it should fade.
This one might sound a bit silly, but if you are experiencing bad breath to the extreme, to the point where you might call it a chronic problem, there might be a reason to be concerned. Check in with your healthcare provider – you might be able to solve the problem and discover the root of it.
When you eat hot or cold items or drink them, it shouldn’t give you a negative sensation. However, if your teeth hurt when eating ice cream or react poorly to any sugary substances, there’s probably something going on. A toothache should not follow any of those circumstances.
Of course, any levels of pain or losing a tooth are also warning signs. This includes if they are damaged somehow. Cracks or breaks in them should not be the norm. I’m not referring to a chipped tooth from some external source, but you should still get checked out if that’s the case.
These issues might be symptoms of an oral disease like gingivitis or periodontitis. In extremely serious cases, it could even be cancer. However, I do recommend caution here – it is rare to develop, so it’s best to take a measured approach to diagnosing it. Don’t panic just because cancer is a possibility – it is simply something to be mindful of.
Now, these diseases can lead to further complications that go beyond the mouth. If you have poor oral hygiene and have issues with your teeth, it’s considered a risk factor for developing heart disease. Another problem surrounding hearth health could be inflammation of the lining of your heart, called endocarditis.
For pregnant women, it could lead to having a premature birth, which can of course be dangerous for both the mother and the infant. Alongside this, low weights for a newborn could also occur.
Thankfully, there are ways to prevent things from getting this serious. The main method is to visit your dentist at least once a year for a regular exam and cleaning. Their services might be frightening at first, but they can be lifesaving.