Do I need to go to the dentist if my teeth don’t hurt?

Even if your teeth don’t hurt, visiting the dentist every six months is essential, as regular dental check-up appointments focus on preventative care.

Once your teeth hurt, you’ve missed the opportunity to prevent the problem. At your regular visit, your dentist can identify issues before they cause irreversible harm to your dental and general health. If expenses are an issue, it is important to note that in the long run, preventative dental care saves you time, money, and pain instead of emergency treatments.

Why do you need to go to the dentist even when your teeth don’t hurt?

Tooth pain is a sign that an issue has gone untreated and is in an advanced stage. Therefore, it does not necessarily mean there aren’t any issues with your dental health because your teeth feel ok.  The perfect time to visit the dentist is when you do not have pain. Regular visits to your dentist are the most effective way to avoid tooth decay, gum disease, and other general health issues like heart disease and dementia.

Oral Cancer Early Detection

Your dentist is trained to screen for early signs of oral cancer, and when detected early, the repercussions are much less serious or even nothing. Conversely, the longer cancer remains untreated, especially when visually undetectable, the more it grows and spreads. Unfortunately, you will not feel any pain until it progresses beyond the early stages, at which time, more significant measures must be taken to remove the disease.

Dental Decay Early Detection

If a tooth hurts, bacteria has already begun to cause decay and damage to the roots or nerve of your tooth. Your dentist, however, can detect the early signs of decay before it causes you pain and halt the progression of the bacteria with a dental filling before it causes extensive damage.

Gum Disease Early Detection

Gum disease affects around 80% of adults. The most effective way to prevent the long-term risks of gum disease is to see your dentist every six months. If you are over 40, you should visit your dentist every three to four months. During your dental exam, your dentist will identify early signs of gum disease, such as:

  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Excessive pocket depth between tooth and gums
  • Teeth stability and sensitivity
  • Jawbone deterioration surrounding teeth

Long-term Risks of Gum Disease

Gum disease causes permanent damage that your dentist cannot reverse. By detecting it early, your dentist can halt gum disease and its progression to avoid further damage to your oral health. By delaying your check-up until your teeth or gums hurt, the disease may have already wreaked considerable havoc on your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Advanced, severe gum disease poses the risk of causing extensive damage to your overall health, including your brain, heart, libido, and more.

Cognitive Decline

Studies show an association between gum disease and cognitive decline. Periodontal disease is linked to an increase in the production of beta-amyloid in a patient’s brain. Beta-amyloid is connected to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The more teeth lost to gum disease, the more beta-amyloid build-up in the brain, and the higher the risk of cognitive decline.

Cardiovascular Disease

Gum disease correlates with a greater risk of heart disease and cardiovascular issues—bacterium from gum disease travel throughout the body in the bloodstream. One of the leading theories on this correlation surrounds an increase in cardiovascular inflammation resulting from pathogens that periodontitis (gum disease) creates. Another theory postulates that cardiovascular inflammation may result from the bacteria P. gingivalis.

Higher Cancer Risk

Several studies have shown the link between gum disease and cancer risk. One of the reasons this connection exists may deal with an enzyme found in periodontitis. The T. denticola chymotrypsin-like proteinase enzyme helps the bacteria invade your gum tissue. The same enzyme was found to promote the growth and mutation of cancer cells, specifically resulting in a heightened risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Respecting the Connection Between the Mouth and Body

Even though you take great care of your oral health at home, your dentist is essential to help you prevent painful and expensive health problems down the road. When issues with your oral health go unaddressed, they become more significant problems that extend to overall health.

We know that the mouth is not separate from the rest of your body. So, even when your teeth don’t hurt, visiting the dentist every six months can mean the difference between pain and a healthy smile. Call your dentist and schedule your bi-annual dental consultation and check-up.

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