Preventative dental care is important for all patients, but those who live with a chronic health condition should consider regular dental visits even more often. Although many have heard this before, it is helpful to understand exactly why this is the case and what might take place during a visit for preventive dental care.
Oral health and general health are often interrelated. Poor oral hygiene can not only affect teeth, gums, and the underlying jaw bone, but it can also have an impact on cardiovascular health, along with impacting other body systems, as well. The following is a review of why preventive dental care is important when dealing with chronic health conditions.
Preventive dental care refers to dental treatments that are performed to reduce the risk of oral health complications developing. It typically includes oral health examinations and services such as dental X-rays, oral cancer screenings, and other tests as necessary. Preventive dental care aims to improve oral health primarily, but it can indirectly benefit a person’s general health, as well. Many patients also find they are happier with the appearance of their smile through preventive dental care as well, although cosmetics are not a focus of preventive dental care.
As mentioned, preventive dental care is designed to prevent oral health concerns from developing. However, patients should also consider preventive dental care to keep good health in general, as well. Oral health issues such as periodontal disease, tooth infections, and oral cancer can affect other conditions that are not directly related to oral health. Through routine checkups, dental cleanings, and other preventive dental services, patients with chronic conditions can reduce the risk of general health concerns in the long term.
A routine checkup is a key part of preventive dental care. During a routine checkup, the dentist asks questions about symptoms the patient experiences and previous medical and dental history, including those related to chronic conditions. Most dentists also conduct an oral examination and order dental X-rays to get a better sense of the patient’s oral health. An oral cancer screening may also be conducted during the visit. Lastly, the dentist (or dental hygienist) cleans the teeth to remove built-up plaque and tartar.
If oral health concerns are detected during a visit for preventive dental care, then the dentist may recommend one of several treatment options, depending on the specific concern. This may include dental fillings, fluoride treatment, antibiotics for oral infections or gum disease, and replacing missing teeth.
If you are interested in preventive dental care to reduce the risk of oral health concerns, then contact us today. We are glad to answer your questions, address concerns you may have, and schedule a time for you to come and see us for a consultation visit.
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