Importance Of A Dental Check-up?? Why and When

Why is it that people, even ones coming from educated sections of the society, don’t prefer visiting a dental clinic? Or why is it that a person will keep taking painkillers till a toothache subsides, but not get it checked for the cause? Apparently people are hardwired to averse to anything that requires time and money. People tend to go for easy solutions to a problem, than look for the root cause. And they keep doing so till a time comes when they run out of solutions. Ignoring what should be done not only makes it more risky but it also magnifies the situation since the cause prevails. What could have been solved with a minor filling, becomes an extraction case after few years. But it doesn’t end here. Such ignorance can lead to unforeseeable consequence that affect your general health.

How are oral and general health related??

Our oral health is a gateway to general health and our mouth serves as a ‘window’ to our body. It is not only important for providing nutrition but also for social interaction and self-esteem. Just like systemic disorders have an effect on oral health, poor oral conditions have an impact on general health as well. Many oral lesions can be a sign of underlying systemic diseases.

For instance:
– certain medications — such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants — can reduce saliva flow , further leading to tooth decay
– oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with periodontitis (a severe form of gum disease) might play a role in some diseases
– certain diseases, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can lower the body’s resistance to infection, making oral health problems more severe

In recent population based studies, it has been proven that poor oral conditions are significantly associated with major chronic diseases. Following are some of the conditions that are related to poor oral hygiene:

1) Endocarditis – can occur because of the bacteria present in the oral cavity
2) Cardiovascular Diseases –
> Heart disease
> Arthrosclerosis
> Stroke
3) Pregnancy – Associated with
 premature birth
 low birth weight
4) Bacterial Pneumonia

Certain conditions also might affect your oral health, including:
• Diabetes
• Osteoporosis
• Alzheimer’s disease

Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, head and neck cancers, and Sjogren’s syndrome (an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth.

Dental Health Foundation, Ireland has rightly stated that ‘Oral disease is the most widespread chronic disease, despite being highly preventable’. Hence, apart from practicing a good oral regimen, one must make it a duty that he/she gets a dental check-up every 6 six months. Regular check-ups can help your dentist detect potential problems you might not be aware of. During a check-up, your dentist will examine

: –
– Mouth : for tooth decay , plaque and tartar, or gum disease
– Tongue , throat , head , neck and face : swellings that can be potential cancer signs

It is important to remember that teeth cleaning and regular dental check-ups are necessary to maintain a good oral as well as general health regardless of any age.