You know that keeping on top of your oral health is important but many people don’t realize just how important it is.
With gum disease affecting an estimated 47% of the American population and over 50,000 people estimated to get oral cancer this year, it’s more important than ever to take care of your teeth and gums.
Visiting your Asheville dentist for a cleaning and exam is about more than just looking for cavities. These comprehensive exams can help catch many oral diseases early and prevent costly, painful dental problems.
Here are five oral health issues that your dentist can help you spot and treat early to get your smile back to normal as soon as possible!
- Gum Disease
Catching gum disease early is crucial. The earliest stage of gum disease called gingivitis is easier to reverse than more advanced stages of gum disease. At some point, it may become impossible to reverse your gum disease, although all forms of gum disease can be treated.
Symptoms of gum disease include tender, swollen, or bleeding gums. A bad taste in your mouth (or bad breath) that won’t go away is also a symptom of gum disease. The earlier you can get professional treatment for your gum disease, the sooner your smile can be healthy again.
Without early intervention, gum disease can progress to periodontal disease. This disease can cause gum recession, sensitive teeth, and even damage the ligaments that help hold the teeth in place. If you continue to avoid treatment, gum disease could cause your teeth to become loose and fall out.
Gum disease is not only painful and harmful, it’s preventable. The right oral care habits combined with regular checkups can help you avoid this disease!
- Oral Cancer
If caught early, oral cancer that hasn’t spread gives you an 83% survival rate. If you don’t have an early diagnosis and the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, the 5-year survival rate is only 38%.
Oral cancers include cancers of the mouth, throat, tongue, and cheek. These cancers include symptoms such as sores in the mouth that won’t heal, lumps in your face or neck, or vague pain or numbness in these areas. Depending on what type of cancer you have, an early diagnosis could save your life.
While the top two biggest risk factors for oral cancer include tobacco and alcohol, anyone can get oral cancer. Fortunately, when you visit your dentist in Asheville for regular checkups, oral cancer screenings are conducted regularly. These screenings are simple, painless, and might just save your life!
During an oral cancer screening, Dr. Saunders will check for any lesions or red or white patches in the mouth, any lumps in your face or neck, and ask you a few questions. Your dentist is often the first person to come into contact with oral cancer, so he or she can help you take the next step for treatment.
- Tooth Decay
With 92% of adults having at least one cavity in their permanent teeth, tooth decay is a problem for just about every American.
Many people don’t realize that tooth decay happens in stages cavities don’t simply appear overnight. Typically, demineralization of the enamel happens first. This is when the enamel is attacked by acids and begins to break down. During this stage, you may see white spots form.
In stage two, decay has broken through the enamel and is advancing deeper inside the tooth. The cavity may still be tiny at this point, but your Asheville dentist can easily spot these problems during an appointment.
When you catch cavities before they affect the inner-most tissues of the tooth you prevent the need for root canal therapy. This will save you money and prevent pain and possible infection.
The technical name for chronic bad breath is halitosis. Halitosis can point to several problems with the mouth, including tooth decay, gum disease, or inadequate oral hygiene.
Halitosis happens when even after you brush your teeth, the bad breath still persists. It may go away for a short time, but it always returns. This is your mouth telling you that something is wrong. If you’re not cleaning your teeth correctly and are missing spots, plaque can build up and cause cavities as well as gum disease, both of which could cause a foul odor.
Chronic bad breath could also point to dry mouth, which could be the result of an underlying health condition, including chronic dehydration. Either way, your smile will suffer as well as your bodily health, so don’t wait to determine the cause of your bad breath.
Getting your halitosis evaluated by a professional Asheville dentist can help you uncover the cause of your bad breath and work to resolve it so that it’s no longer an issue!
If you have a toothache, don’t delay in getting the problem addressed. Minor toothaches can quickly turn into emergency problems. When one of your teeth is causing you pain whether it’s been happening for a short or long period of time it indicates that something isn’t right.
Sometimes, a toothache means an infection and this infection has the potential to get into your bloodstream, which can cause major symptoms and even death.
You should never avoid treatment for a toothache that appears to be minor because you might be able to save your tooth as well as save yourself pain, time, and money. A severe toothache could mean that an extraction or root canal therapy is needed. You might even save your life!
Fortunately, Saunders DDS offers emergency services for patients. Don’t delay in making an appointment to prevent an emergency and get help for your aching tooth!
The health of your teeth and gums is inextricably linked to your body. When you neglect your oral health, you neglect to take care of your whole self.
Getting help for these five dental problems could mean the difference between life and death, such as for patients who have oral cancer. For others, seeking treatment could be as simple as a dental exam and a professional cleaning for your smile.
Don’t delay in getting treatment for tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, halitosis, and toothaches. Your dentist in Asheville can help treat all these problems and get your smile back on track. Contact us for an appointment to ensure your smile is healthy for life!