Reasons To Go To The Dentist And Some Might Surprise You

Around 77% of adults say they will go to the dentist within the year to come, but less than half of those actually do. For many people going to the dentist can be a stressful experience, while many others don’t understand the importance and necessity of regular dental checkups.

 

Going to the dentist every six months for cleanings and routine exams plays a significant role in preventing dental and gum issues or identifying and treating them before they worsen into a serious issue. Research has also shown a connection between poor oral health or gum disease and other health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.

 

There are many reasons it is important to schedule a dentist appointment, whether for routine cleaning or to address a concern in your teeth or gums. Putting off going to the dentist can make many issues worse and the care need to treat them more expensive. Here are some important reasons to make a dentist appointment sooner rather than later:

Pain 

A toothache is one of the most obvious reasons to go to the dentist, but people often ignore it until it becomes unbearable.  Making a dentist appointment quickly can help stop a problem before it gets worse and save you from unnecessary pain.

Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth could simply be from growing older, but it could also be a sign of a more serious issue such as bruxism or teeth grinding. Sensitivity can be frustrating, but your dentist can make recommendations to help combat it.

Swelling

Swelling or lumps in your mouth, jaw, or even on your face or neck can be a sign of dental problem or a more serious underlying problem such as oral cancer.

Swollen Or Bleeding Gums

If you’ve noticed that your gums bleed after brushing, they feel tender or red, or appear puffy, it is important to see your dentist. Gum disease that is left untreated can become very serious, painful, and affect your teeth in addition to your gums.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth or insufficient saliva can cause tooth decay or even affect the health of your gums.

Pain While Eating

It shouldn’t hurt to chew or swallow. This could be a sign of tooth decay, a cracked tooth, tissue damage or more, not to mention keep you from eating as well as you should be.

Jaw Pain

If your jaw pops regularly or if it hurts when you open or close your mouth, when you chew, or when you wake up in the morning, you could have a cracked tooth, an abscess, crowded teeth, or gum disease. Jaw pain can also be a sign that you’re grinding your teeth or have a TMD, disorders that cause chronic pain or dysfunction of the jaw.

You Don’t Like To Smile

Regardless of the reason for hiding your smile, a dentist can help you to regain your confidence. A dentist can provide treatment and solutions for everything from missing to discolored teeth.

You Are Pregnant

The extra hormones from pregnancy can often cause existing dental problems to worsen or increase the risk for new problems. A dental checkup while pregnant is safe and the best way to prevent oral issues.

You Smoke Or Chew Tobacco

Tobacco, regardless of how it is used can lead to a range of dental problems such as decay, bad breath or even oral cancer making it even more important to remain consistent with dental cleanings and checkups.

You’re Due For A Checkup

Routine cleanings and dental exams are beneficial for preventing problems, but it can also make it easier to treat them if they are caught early on. Checkups are also a good time to check the condition of past dental work and ensure that any fillings, crowns, or even implants are in good condition. 

Call us at Foutz Family Dentistry today at (702) 792-5929 to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS
2510 Wigwam Parkway Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89074
(702) 792-5929

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Gum Disease And Heart Disease: Is There A Connection?

Studies have shown a notable connection between gum disease and other larger health problems, such as heart disease. Plaque build-up, inflamed gums, and bacteria in the mouth can all contribute to heart attacks, making it extremely important to address gum issues quickly.

What Is Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, is an infection of the gums typically caused by build up of bacteria, plaque and tartar. Plaque is the bacteria on teeth that causes cavities, but it can also build up on the gums, leading to the beginning stages of gum disease known as gingivitis.  Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease typically marked by swollen, inflamed or bleeding gums.  When left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. As the disease progresses, it will cause gums to pull away from the teeth while bacteria begins to destroy tissue and bone.  

Symptoms of gum disease can include:

  • Bad breath
  • Red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums
  • Pain while chewing
  • Receding gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose teeth

How Does Gum Disease Cause Other Health Problems?

When left to build up, these bacteria of the mouth can escape through the bloodstream reaching major organs and other areas of the body, which in turn can lead to other larger health issues. Although the exact connection is still unknown, inflammation is also thought to be the common link as the level of inflammation of the gums can increase the risk of inflammation elsewhere in the body. Inflammation is a key factor in many diseases particularly heart disease.

Connection Between Gum Disease And Heart Disease

Studies have continually shown a connection between poor heart health and gum disease. The correlation between inflamed gums or excess bacteria in the mouth and heart attacks continues to grow as people with poor gum health are two times more likely to have coronary artery disease than those with healthier gums.  It is believed that gum disease can increase the risk of heart disease due to the combination of bacteria in the blood stream from inflammation of the gums, which can lead to narrowing of arteries.

It is important to remember that not all patients with gum disease will suffer from heart disease, but it is still extremely important to treat gum disease before it has a chance to progress or worsen.

Treating Gum Disease

Brushing and flossing teeth regularly, at least two times a day, is the first step to reducing the risk of periodontal disease and overall poor oral health. Mouthwash can also help to decrease the amount of bacteria in the mouth. A healthier diet low in sugar can also help to reduce plaque and bacteria build up.

Gum disease cannot be treated with good oral hygiene habits alone. It is extremely important to maintain consistent and routine dental cleanings and examinations. A thorough cleaning every 4-6 months is the most effective way to remove plaque and tartar, while watching for signs of gum disease. Your dentist will be able to recommend specific periodontal habits to help and provide the most effective treatment.

If you suspect gum disease, contact a dentist as soon as possible to avoid progression or other more serious health problems.  Schedule an appointment at Foutz Family Dentisty in Henderson, Nevada to help get you on the path to healthy gums.

Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS
2510 Wigwam Parkway Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89074
(702) 792-5929

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Ezbond A. Foutz, D.D.S.
4 Generations of Dentists Spanning 3 Centuries
1st Generation:

Great Grandfather

Dr. Ezbond A. Foutz
Harold B. Foutz, D.D.S.
4 Generations of Dentists Spanning 3 Centuries
2nd Generation:

Grandfather

Dr. Harold B. Foutz
Lawrence C. Foutz, D.D.S.
4 Generations of Dentists Spanning 3 Centuries
3rd Generation:

Father

Dr. Lawrence C. Foutz
Barton H. Foutz, D.D.S.
4 Generations of Dentists Spanning 3 Centuries
4th Generation:

Family and Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Barton H. Foutz