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Why Dental Exams and Cleanings Are So Important

 As routine and mundane as it may sound, maintaining your North Hollywood, CA, appointments for regular dental exams and cleanings is vital to your oral health. In fact, other than regular brushing and flossing your teeth at home, it is the most important thing that you can do to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

In addition to helping prevent gum disease and tooth decay, regular dental exams can help you avoid unnecessary expenses related to dental problems that can persist or grow worse over time, leading to more complex and expensive procedures down the road. You should be getting dental checkups twice a year, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

Let’s take a look at some common elements that make up dental examinations and cleanings.

Oral Cancer Screening

Not only is your dentist dedicated to enhancing and maintaining your beautiful smile, they are looking out for your general wellness. Part of your regular dental exam will include an oral cancer screening. As scary as cancer sounds, this form of cancer is actually very treatable when detected early, which is why it is so important to keep up with your regular dental exams.

We have all of the tools and skills necessary to detect oral cancer symptoms and pre-cancerous conditions.

Some symptoms of oral cancer are:

  • White or red spots within the mouth
  • Sores that do not heal, or bleed easily
  • A lump or rough spot
  • Tenderness, numbness or pain located within the mouth or around the lips
  • Difficulty speaking, swallowing, chewing, or moving the tongue or jaw

The most effective way of preventing oral cancer is to avoid smoking tobacco and stick to drinking alcohol only in moderation.

Your Dental Cleaning Appointment

Having your teeth cleaned at least twice annually is a great way to enhance your oral health. The dental hygienist conducting your cleaning will be removing any plaque or tartar found on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film containing bacteria that attach to your teeth and can break down the tooth enamel on the outer part of your tooth, allowing bacteria to eventually reach the dental pulp containing nerves and the tooth’s blood supply. If things ever got that far, you would likely need a root canal procedure or tooth extraction.

Tartar is plaque that has hardened. Once plaque has hardened into tartar, it can only be removed by a dental professional by using special dental tools. Its removal helps to ensure that you are able to prevent periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, that could result in the loss of your teeth when left undetected and untreated.

Schedule Your Appointment

When you lead a busy life, it is easy to forget routine appointments like dental exams and cleanings. We hope that you now realize the vital importance of these seemingly mundane appointments in maintaining the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums.

If you have been neglecting your appointments for dental exams and cleanings, we encourage you to contact our North Hollywood, CA, office today to get back on track with these important dental visits.