At River Edge Dental, we love all the dentistry we practice. Complex reconstructive dentistry and cosmetic dentistry are fun challenges. However, we have to admit that, hands down, preventive dentistry is the best kind of dentistry. That’s why we recommend you schedule an appointment with a River Edge dentist today if you’re overdue for a checkup and cleaning.
Aren’t convinced? Check out these benefits, and you’ll see how great preventive dentistry is.
Cavities occur because bacteria living on your teeth consume sugars and carbohydrates, then excrete acid. The acid eats away at your tooth enamel, weakening it and eventually creating holes.
Your body has a natural mechanism to reverse this, but it’s very slow. If you want to stop cavities from developing, you have to support your body’s efforts.
Without preventive dentistry, cavities weaken your teeth and make them painfully sensitive to pressure, heat, cold, sweets, and acids like vinegar. Left even longer, cavities can develop into potentially deadly tooth infections.
A River Edge dentist can protect your teeth with regular cleanings as well as dental sealants that coat your teeth and protect them from acid.
Prevent Gum Disease
Bacteria in your mouth also attack the tissue around your teeth, including your gums and the bones that support your teeth. Mild gum disease, known as gingivitis, is common, and can develop into periodontitis.
Mild gum disease might make your gums sensitive, so if your gums hurt when you brush or eat, take it as a warning that you should be more diligent about your home hygiene. If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, schedule a checkup ASAP.
Left untreated, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. However, it can also contribute to serious health problems.
Avoid Health Problems
Gum disease and tooth infections both lead to complications that impact more than your teeth. Poor oral health can increase your risk of:
Autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis
Diabetes has a relationship with gum disease, where poor blood sugar control increases the severity of gum disease, and severe gum disease makes it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Without intervention, the conditions can spiral out of control.
Oral bacteria get into your blood, where they can colonize your blood vessels, increasing clogging there, which increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Recent discoveries show that toxins from oral bacteria can increase your risk of dementia, and the connection keeps getting stronger.
Gum disease is a chronic infection, and it can have an adverse effect on your immune system. For some people, this can cause the immune system to attack your body, especially your joints, in a condition known as rheumatoid arthritis.
Inhaled oral bacteria can infect your lungs, leading to pneumonia.
The link between gum disease and cancer generally is not well-established, but some forms of cancer, such as throat cancer, seem to have a strong connection.
Some people think they are too busy to make preventive dental visits, but the truth is that you’re probably too busy not to make your preventive visits. A dental checkup doesn’t take much time at all, but treating serious oral health problems can be time-consuming. It can require multiple visits of several hours, sometimes all day.
In addition, preventive dentistry can help people with associated health conditions to avoid hospitalization. A 2014 study showed that treating gum disease reduced the risk of hospitalization for people with gum disease by nearly 40%! People with heart disease and stroke also saw a reduced risk of hospitalization (about 20% and 30%, respectively).
Another reason people avoid dental checkups is that they are trying to save money. However, preventive dentistry is one of the best investments in healthcare. A dental checkup is cheaper than a filling and much cheaper than a dental crown.
The same study that showed a reduced risk of hospitalization also showed reduced healthcare costs for related conditions. For example, those with cerebral vascular disease (stroke and related conditions) might save more than $5500 a year by treating gum disease.
This was backed up by a 2020 study, which said that people with diabetes might reduce lifetime healthcare costs by nearly $6000 with gum disease treatment.
Remember, dental insurance often makes dental checkups free or nearly free. People without dental insurance looking for a cost-effective way to get preventive dentistry should consider River Edge Dental’s REconomy Dental Savings Plan.
Enjoy a Beautiful Smile
We know that this might seem like gilding the lily at this point, but let us share one more benefit of preventive dentistry. When it comes to your smile, health and beauty go hand in hand. Making regular preventive dental visits will help you have a beautiful smile.
At your dental checkup, we’ll polish your teeth, removing superficial stains to help you enjoy a bright smile. At your regular cleanings, we’ll remove tartar deposits. These rock-hard buildups of blotchy yellow gunk can accumulate on your teeth, making them unattractive. Also, cavities look like permanent discolorations that no amount of teeth whitening will remove.
Before trying cosmetic dentistry, you should start with preventive dentistry and see how much more it improves your smile. You might be surprised.