Visiting a family dentist regularly can help protect your dental health. However, it can also help ensure that your overall health remains good.
A family dentist will likely recommend that you receive routine dental care at least twice a year. The care includes a complete assessment of your oral cavity, along with preventive services, which may include a dental cleaning, a sealant application, and a fluoride treatment. The dental cleaning involves the removal of tartar accumulations from the teeth. Sealants, which are plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth, protect the tooth material from decay. Additionally, fluoride treatments supply the teeth with a concentrated formulation of fluoride to remineralize the teeth and strengthen them against acid-based damage.
Although the assessment and preventive care certainly benefit your teeth and gums, they also assist with your general health. Here are two conditions that may be detected during a routine dental visit.
The assessment performed during a routine dental exam includes a review of the soft tissues of the mouth. The dentist looks for changes in the color, texture, and size of the tissues. If discoloration, texture changes, or growths are found, the dentist may perform a biopsy. If a biopsy sample tests positive for cancer, the patient is referred to a physician for prompt treatment.
Diabetes affects thousands of adults in the United States. Nevertheless, a person may suffer from the condition without being aware that they have the disease. Although a blood test is needed to confirm a diabetes diagnosis, signs of diabetes may be detected during an oral exam.
People with diabetes may suffer from the following:
- Gum problems. High blood sugar levels can increase the amount of sugar available to the bacteria of the mouth. As a result, the bacteria may release greater amounts of inflammatory acids.
- Gum infections. A gingival infection, which may appear as an abscess on the gums, may be more likely to occur in a diabetic patient. Diabetic people are more prone to infections.
- Dental decay. If the teeth are incurring more cavities than usual, it could be due to elevated levels of sugar in the blood.
- Thrush. Thrush is a fungal infection that is characterized by a white, cheese-like coating on the soft tissues of the mouth. Just as a diabetic is more susceptible to bacterial infections, the person is also more apt to incur a fungal infection.
- Dry mouth. People with diabetes may suffer from a reduction in salivary flow.
To help protect your health by scheduling a routine dental visit, contact the office of a family dentist in your local area or visit a website like http://www.vanyodentistry.com.