Going to the dentist probably isn’t too high on your list of fun activities, but it is incredibly important that you go at least once every six months. Whether you have dental anxiety or a busy schedule, your health depends on these checkups. With that in mind, we have gathered six of the biggest reasons why you need regular dental checkups. If you’re looking for an experienced dentist that you can trust, look to Dr. Burchman here in Langhorne. Our team will help you get a bright smile you can wear with confidence.

-Oral Cancer Detection

It should come as no surprise that early detection of cancer is vital to your ongoing health. When you have regular dental checkups, your dentist will be able to monitor your health and recognize signs of early-stage oral cancer. Luckily, early-stage oral cancer is often easily treatable, but that becomes much more difficult if it is left unchecked for too long. By catching oral cancer in its early stages, treatment has a far greater chance of success. Many dentists are offering VELscope Cancer exams to their patients as a way to quickly, painlessly, and non-invasively examine the inside of your mouth. It utilizes a special light to catch signs of dead tissue caused by tumors that are otherwise imperceptible to the naked eye.

-Plaque, Tartar, and Cavities

Even people that brush and floss daily have parts of their mouth that they can miss. As plaque builds up, it becomes much more difficult to remove. This is because as it builds up, it hardens and turns into tartar, which is incredibly difficult to remove without professional help. When you have regular dental cleanings, you’re able to prevent tartar from eroding your teeth or developing cavities. It is rare for a cavity to show any warning signs, only starting to hurt once the decay has already set in. Once a cavity has taken hold, it can only be fixed by your dentist filling them. Avoid the pain and trouble of going back to the dentist with a regular cleaning twice a year. Not only is a cleaning more affordable than a filling, it’s also less time-consuming. Regular cleanings can take care of plaque and tartar before they become destructive.

-Gum Disease

Plaque and tartar buildup don’t stop their destructive ways with tooth decay. As they are allowed to take hold, they can erode the gum tissue in your mouth, resulting in diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. After tartar buildup causes a gum infection, your gums will pull away from your teeth. Once gum disease has set in, you will start to see swelling, bleeding, and soreness in your mouth. The breakdown of gum tissue will also affect the integrity of the bone that holds teeth in place. When that happens, teeth are weakened to the point of being loose or falling out altogether, at which point a dental specialist will have to employ drastic treatment methods. Specialists require many appointments and carry a heavy price tag, so early treatment of gum disease early on through regular checkups will save you a great deal of trouble and money.

-Cutting Down Bad Habits

There is a laundry list of bad habits that can negatively impact your oral health. By going to the dentist for regular checkups, they will provide the accountability you may need to stop those bad habits. Chewing ice, biting your nails, smoking cigarettes, clenching or grinding your teeth, and over-brushing your teeth are just a few examples of habits that can negatively affect your oral health. Through regular dental checkups, your dentist will be able to check for any damage that has been caused by these or other habits that may have escaped your notice. Not only will they be able to help fix the damage these habits have caused, they’ll also be able to provide you with helpful information for adjusting your lifestyle in a way that preserves your oral health.

-X-Rays

There is only so much that we can perceive with just our eyes, which becomes a problem with dental health. There are problems that can lurk underneath the surface of our gums, which can often be much more harmful than issues that are clearly visible. Through the use of x-rays, your dentist will be able to monitor your teeth and jaw health properly. Whether it is an impacted tooth — growing teeth that are unable to push through the gum line — bone decay, swelling, cysts, or tumors, these invisible issues are brought to the surface with an x-ray. Once these issues are detected, your dentist will be able to treat them quickly before they cause more damage.

-Head, Neck, and Lymph Node Checks

When you think of the dentist, it likely starts and ends with teeth. However, your dentist will also be able to check your neck, jaw, and lymph nodes for swelling, lumps, or other harmful abnormalities. If one is detected, your dentist will be able to alert you to it and advise you to seek treatment from whichever medical professional may be appropriate for the situation. While swollen lymph nodes don’t typically hurt or seem out of place, they can be a sign of cancer or other diseases that will require immediate action. Regular dental checkups will ensure your neck and thyroid glands are checked often, helping you avoid potential problems. It only takes your dentist about a minute to check for these abnormalities and that minute can save your life.

Going to the dentist means different things to different people. While some people are scared, others are just annoyed they have to carve time out of their day for an appointment. However, with these six reasons, we hope you understand just how important regular dental checkups are when it comes to your overall health. One checkup every six months and you gain the peace of mind that a clean and healthy mouth brings with it. If you’re in need of a dental checkup here in Langhorne, give Dr. Burchman a call today. We hope to see your smiling face soon!