A family dentist sees patients of all ages. This makes it easier for families to make group appointments. The dentist can help with many issues, but if you haven't been in a while, it may be time for a visit. Here are three reasons you should visit your family dentist.
1. You Need Preventative Care
Dentists recommend regular oral exams about once every six months. During this time, the dentist:
- Looks for signs of weakening enamel and/or decay
- Monitors primary and permanent tooth growth in children
- Measures pockets in older patients and those with increased risk of gum disease
- Looks for signs of infection and oral cancer
In addition, the hygienist fully cleans, flosses, and polishes the teeth. This is incredibly important for removing tartar, which can increase the risk of decay and gum disease. For children and patients with weak enamel, the dentist may recommend fluoride and/or sealants.
Occasionally, your dentist will request X-rays, including bitewings and full-mouth X-rays. With X-rays, the dentist can check for:
- Signs of a tooth abscess
- Problems with permanent teeth (still in the jawbone) in children
- Root issues, like roots that grow into the sinus
- Impacted teeth
2. You Have Tooth Pain
If you have tooth pain, make a dentist appointment. There are many reasons you may have tooth pain, and in some cases, it's as simple as weak enamel, which causes sensitivity, especially when the teeth are exposed to heat, cold, or sugar.
In many other cases, however, tooth pain indicates a cavity. Cavities are caused by the bacteria in your mouth. As they dine on plaque and food particles, they release acids that weaken the enamel. Cavities must be removed and replaced with a filling. In rare cases, you may have a tooth infection or abscess. In this case, your dentist must treat the infection with antibiotics and either a root canal treatment or extraction.
3. Your Gums Are Red and Swollen
If your gums are red, swollen, tender, sensitive, or bleeding (especially when flossing or brushing), you should visit your family dentist. These may be signs of gum disease. It's important to catch gum disease early. In the early stages, the condition is still reversible. By the time it advances to periodontitis, the dentist can treat the infection, but you may need surgical treatments to repair the damage to your gums.
A family dentist can treat your entire family, and they offer preventative care, restorative services, and cosmetic dentistry. If you would like to know more, contact a family dentistry service in your area today.