Why you should keep your regular check ups at the dentist

By Kevin K.L. Ching, DDS
Wednesday - February 06, 2008

Kevin K.L. Ching, DDS
Kevin K.L. Ching, DDS

One of the most dreaded appointments is the six month check up. We usually are too busy, and everything feels fine, so who needs the hassle? What I am going to try to do in this article is try to show you why it is necessary and really not a hassle. Your mom always told you that prevention is the best medicine, and we know that mom is always right about these matters, but in the case of the dental check up, she really hit the nail on the head. But why should we come in every six months?

To answer that question we have to look at several factors, the speed at which problems can occur in your mouth, whether you can detect the problems in a timely manner by yourself, and what can be done to prevent small problems from becoming large problems in the future.

Tooth decay is an infection of cavity forming bacteria in your mouth. Some infections spread rapidly, while others fester and spread slowly, this is the case for tooth decay. The factors that determine whether it is a widespread infection or localized can be determined at a dental check up. But what if you never had a cavity in years, is that an indication that you will never have a cavity problem in the future? The answer is unequivocally, no. Dental decay prevalence can change as we age and it varies throughout our lives, so history is not a predictor of the future in this case. In the early stages, tooth decay can be very difficult to detect, and your dentist will use all the tools available to find the problem at an early stage, before it becomes noticeable to you.

Gum disease is a disease process that also involves bacteria, but most of the destruction is caused when your body tries to fight off the bacteria, and the collateral damage that occurs can be serious. Scientists are trying to identify the bacteria responsible for making the body so irritated. Most people mistakenly believe that gum disease is a gradual, progressive disease that will eventually loosen all your teeth, nothing could be further from the truth. Researchers are finding out that it is a bone disease that occurs episodically. So it is very possible that you may not know that you have the problem, then when you have some indication of the disease, it may be very advanced. Regular check ups help to prevent that, and allows dentists to take action to limit the damage that can result.

See your dentist regularly to make sure you have a healthy smile, for life.

For a FREE dental consultation, please call Dr. Kevin Ching’s office @ 946-0442 to schedule an appointment.



Kevin Ching DDS

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