General Dentistry: Why You Should Visit a Dentist Today
General dentistry is a form of dental care where practitioners provide a variety of services. Patients who see a general dentist receive preventative services to help maintain good oral health and prevent disease or damage. In addition to preventive services, general dentistry also includes restorative services and cosmetic services.
Dental health is essential to a patient's overall health. General dentists may recognize different health concerns that may manifest symptoms in the mouth.
Reasons to visit a general dentist
Some patients wait until they experience pain or can see visual damage before seeing a dentist. When patients see dentists regularly, the dentists can keep the teeth clean and healthy before worse issues develop.
Gum disease prevention
Gum disease occurs when the mouth's gum tissue becomes eroded. This can happen due to tartar buildup and an infection called gingivitis. As gingivitis progresses, the tissue that attaches to gums begins to break down. Gum disease causes bleeding of the gums. It can also cause the bone to break down, leading to loose teeth. Dentists can catch the development of gum disease and create a treatment plan geared to slow the process or to keep patients from developing gum disease at all.
Regardless of whether patients brush or floss daily, they may miss areas of the mouth. Plaque builds up and solidifies to become tartar. Without dental tools, tartar is difficult to remove. Without removal, tartar can erode teeth and lead to the development of cavities. Unfortunately, cavities do not always have many symptoms when developing. Patients may experience a slight ache once the decay forms. Routine cleanings to remove plaque and tartar are a part of general dentistry.
Without regular dentist appointments, oral cancer is difficult to diagnose. Without a diagnosis, cancer can grow and spread, becoming life-threatening quickly. When detected early, however, oral cancer is treatable. Dentists have the training to recognize the symptoms of oral cancer. When patients have checkups every six months, there is a high likelihood the dentist will catch any red flags.
Oral health diagnoses
When it comes to a patient's oral health, there are a lot of issues that may not be apparent without an X-ray. Types of problems only X-rays can reveal include:
- Impacted teeth
- Jawbone damage
- Bone decay
Some destructive diseases have few to no symptoms. Without an X-ray, a patient may suffer extensive damage before recognizing the problem.
Bad habit identification
Most people have habits that may harm their teeth. Practices that may have adverse outcomes include teeth grinding, jaw clenching, too-hard toothbrushing, and eating hard candy or sweets. General dentists can identify any damage caused by bad habits. In addition to determining what may contribute to a patient's oral health, dentists may be able to fix the damage already done. When patients know the cause of their tooth problems, it may be easier to quit the habits.
Regular dental checkups can prevent disease and damage to the teeth. In general dentistry, practitioners provide preventative, restorative, and cosmetic procedures to patients.
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