The Top Ten or Eleven Reasons to Visit the Dentist

Publication: Montana Woman Magazine
  1. The Oral Systemic Connection. In plain English, this means that the health of your mouth, gums, and teeth, is connected intimately with your total health. Research is in on the fact that chronic infections in the teeth and gums can cause many other degenerative changes in the body. Risks increase for heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, diabetes, pregnancy, respiratory infection, arthritis, dementia, and I just read a report about increased risk for pancreatic cancer. Clearly, treatment and prevention of oral infections is important in longevity and quality of life. Your dentist can fairly easily help you identify and treat these frequently symptom free oral infections.
  2. Prevention! This includes maintenance.We have heard this before, and it’s as plain as the nose above your smile! Hard to believe something so simple effective and obvious, is forgotten so easily. Don’t get me started on this one! Look ahead not back at what can be prevented, since hindsight is 20/20, it just makes it worse. Starting now, we can change our path a little in the right direction. Love your teeth and they will love you back.
  3. Stop dental decline and decay in it’s tracks. So you missed the prevention program. It’s OK! We won’t yell at you . The consequences are penalty enough. Having imperfect teeth does not make you a bad person. Ask George Washington. Since cavities never go away, and only get worse with time, the prognosis for a tooth with decay is hopeless. Naturally, the sooner the better works on this one, and doing things daily, that reduce your risk and rate of decay makes a big difference. Try some Xylitol gum for instance.
  4. Keep your teeth for a Lifetime. When you stop and think about it, the quality and quantity of our lives, is affected by our oral experience. Happier , healthier, longer lives, follow smiling, infection free mouths. I have many remarkably healthy older patients to prove it! Who wants to get major dental treatment at 80? Not me. Die smiling!
  5. Safe treatment for other medical conditions. Are you a candidate for a joint replacement, kidney transplant, heart surgery, chemotherapy, cancer and or osteoporosis medication, or other complicated or immune suppressing medical treatment. Your doctor will probably recommend a dental exam, so that an oral infection won’t compromise the treatment they are rendering. This could be a life, or at least a limb saver!
  6. Detection of other undiagnosed medical problems. Many people don’t have regular doctor visits. I am guilty of this. Dentists have knowledge to recognize and identify many conditions and diseases that might otherwise go untreated. We can help recognize abnormal conditions and alert you to seek appropriate care. Some of these include, cancer, leukemia, sinus infections, tumors, STD’s, diabetes, malnutrition, and I could go on. Let’s talk about more positive stuff!
  7. Kids. Let’s face it, we love our kids beyond words. Early and regular dental visits, can make their lives and futures much better. Teaching them proper oral care habits and educating parents is valuable and rewarding. Prevention and early interception of potential dental problems can be priceless. Do the right thing, be responsible for your children’s teeth. Help them at home with good hygiene and food especially. Love and chocolate go together but not all the time!
  8. Get that Sexy smile you want. Patients have told me, people respond better to them when they have a more attractive and confident smile. This is a natural consequence that goes along with smiling more and feeling better about your self. Your dentist can do wonders, and it may be much easier than you think. And, no, you are not too old!
  9. Replace those missing teeth! Sure, many people function without some or all of their teeth. Teeth are not for everyone. Teeth are not necessary for life. Teeth sure as heck help you chew and smile and speak though. Dental implants and prosthetic treatment, can restore function and smiles for our patients. This probably won’t happen without our help! Visiting a dentist for an evaluation can help you understand what is possible for tooth replacement and repair. We are getting better at this than ever before thanks to dental implants and modern technology.
  10. Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, or TMD.
    According to some studies, up to 80% of people could benefit from some kind of splint or bite therapy, to reduce pain from sore muscles and jaws. There is a whole science to these related conditions. The truth is most of these patients have muscle tension and soreness that is fairly easily relieved. I can’t believe how many people suffer with regular headaches. I love to hear how they don’t get them any more after we do some splint and bite therapy. Some jaw problems are stubborn and mysterious and require more specialized treatment. Don’t suffer needlessly and be grouchy and mean and sleep deprived, get some help. Your family will thank you and you will thank your dentist! Don’t forget to thank yourself in the meantime. Take good care yourself and keep stress manageable. Don’t worry, be happy and smile no matter what!