Why You Need to Be Proactive With Your Oral Health

Despite what some people may think, cavities, swollen gums, tooth loss, and tooth decay aren’t inevitable oral problems. Through preventive dentistry, you can be among the 1 in 4 adults in the United States without untreated tooth decay, part of the 54% of American adults over 30 who don’t show signs of gum disease, or one of the 46% of adults aged 65 or older who still have some of their original teeth. Wouldn’t that be something? Well, check out these 6 problems preventive dentistry can help you avoid when you get a little bit more proactive with your oral health.

1. Cavities

One thing our Greenville, SC, dentist tells almost every patient who walks through our doors: you’re never too old to get cavities. But with preventive dentistry, you have a better chance of protecting your teeth from such painful holes. Why? Well, during a routine examination, a professional dentist removes all the plaque and tartar buildup in your mouth using a combination of diagnostic tools to check for small cavities that have yet to damage the enamel and can still be reversed by applying a fluoride gel, dental sealants, or varnish. Your dentist will also point out areas where you need to brush or floss better, so you know what improvements to make with your at-home oral care routine.

2. Tooth Decay

Michael Martin holds the world record for the longest time spent brushing their teeth. Even he would have a tough time removing all the plaque that can form on our teeth, which allows the risk of tooth decay to grow. If that decay remains untreated for too long, it can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. But with preventive dentistry procedures, like regular dental cleanings, you can lower the chances of these concerns becoming your reality. With regular fluoride treatments, you can repair any microscopic decay as well as harden the outer layer of your teeth to make them more resistant to decay.

3. Gum Disease

Plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth and gum line can also lead to gum diseases like gingivitis, red and swollen gums, or periodontitis, a more severe inflammation that destroys both gum and bone tissue. Luckily, regular teeth cleanings and fluoride treatments from your Greenville, SC, dentist as well as a healthy dental routine can cure early gingivitis. But once it progresses into periodontal disease, the condition is irreversible and will require more intensive treatments.

4. Bad Breath

Here, we’re not talking about the bad breath from a particularly flavorful food or after your daily morning latte. No, we’re talking about the bad breath that doesn’t seem to go away despite regular tooth brushing, flossing, and mouthwash gargles. The one that goes beyond the embarrassment of forgetting to brush or running out of toothpaste one morning and transforms into a possible early warning sign of serious gum disease. Preventive dentistry treatments like regular dental cleanings can help you and your Greenville, SC, dentist find out which one is true for you.

5. Tooth Loss

When many of us think about losing our teeth, we may assume this is something that just happens as we get older. But with preventive dentistry, you can keep your teeth longer than ever before. Wearing a custom-fit mouth guard, for instance, can help lessen the likelihood of a blow or stray elbow causing cracked or broken teeth for those who play contact sports. This simple device can save you from costly restorative dental work and the painful tale of “The Incisored Tackle.”

6. TMD

Another dental problem you may not be able to avoid completely, no matter how solid your oral routine, is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your cheekbones to the jaw and works with other muscles to provide a range of movements, allowing you to open and close your mouth as well as chew and speak. You can go a lifetime without knowing where the TMJ is, but when it gets inflamed or improperly positioned, the pain itself will act as a red flashing beacon showing you its location. A dentist can take a mold of your teeth and create a custom-fit night guard that provides relief from TMJ pain while also protecting your teeth from the potential damage of unconscious teeth grinding and clenching.

Preventive dentistry helps your oral and financial health.

By now, you understand how preventive dentistry can help protect your oral health. But what about your financial health? It’s much cheaper to pay for cleanings twice (or more) a year than it is to pay for several cavity fillings or periodontal therapy treatments. Most dental insurances also cover at least two annual cleanings, so you won’t have to pay for these out of pocket. And here at Monroe Family Dentistry, our Smile Savings Plan doesn’t just cover cosmetic and restorative procedures, it covers preventive dentistry treatments too. Our dental payment plans cover checkups, cleanings, fluoride treatments, and more. Reach out to us if you have any questions about Monroe’s dental savings payment plan. Let us help you keep your smile healthy without putting your finances at risk.