Establishing a solid habit of brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist in Irving for regular exams and cleanings isn’t only about making sure your smile looks as bright and white as possible. It’s also about building all the habits you can to prevent dental disease and complications from appearing later in life. Of course, this is not limited to tooth decay and gum disease, even though they are the most common.
Here’s what you can avoid with routine at-home and in-office care.
Since you were very young, your dentist and your parents likely told you that your teeth would rot if you didn’t practice proper oral hygiene. Cavities are caused by oral bacteria that secrete plaque acids, which occurs after they consume starches and sugars from the foods you eat. These acids develop into dental plaque and tartar, which both work to break down enamel and cause tooth decay.
With regular oral hygiene, you can easily prevent plaque and tartar from eroding your enamel and causing cavities, forcing you to get restorative dental work later in life.
Gum disease is widely undiagnosed because it often carries very few symptoms in the early stages. For example, if you notice minor bleeding after brushing or flossing, it means you have the earliest stage known as gingivitis. Luckily, routine oral hygiene prevents this as well as the more advanced forms of gum disease from appearing, including periodontitis.
Bad Breath and Dry Mouth
If you’ve ever been offered a mint or piece of gum from a coworker, then you understand the importance of avoiding bad breath when you can. Dental plaque and bacteria that collects on the teeth, gums and tongue cause significant bad breath, but are easily removable with routine oral habits.
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is another common side effect of poor oral hygiene. A dry mouth only allows bacteria to move and develop more easily, but oral hygiene keeps the mouth moist and diminishes disease development.
Feeling tooth sensitivity after drinking ice water or hot tea is common, but having it linger is a sign of something more serious. By practicing oral hygiene, you prevent enamel erosion and stop external stimuli from reaching the sensitive inner layers of your teeth.
Serious Conditions and Disease
Finally, visiting the dentist regularly isn’t only for receiving an incredibly thorough cleaning. It’s also ideal for catching severe conditions like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and oral cancer.
TMD is a condition that affects the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. If undue stress is applied to this joint, whether its because of a poor bite, tooth misalignment, or chronic teeth grinding, a dentist can catch and diagnose it to prevent painful symptoms later. Oral cancer is a very serious condition that can appear in patients of all ages, but is much easier to treat if caught early.
Oral hygiene is about so much more than just keeping your smile looking attractive. Schedule an appointment with an Irving dentist to make sure your oral care routine is complete!
About the Author
Dr. Natalie Stimpson earned her DDS degree from the Howard University College of Dentistry. Since then, she’s been dedicated to keeping her patients comfortable and challenging herself in the field of dentistry. To learn more about her practice, you can contact her through her website.