Regular dental visits are recommended to prevent oral health problems. But more than one-third of American adults don’t visit their dentist every year.
Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help you avoid tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Even if you may not have any symptoms of gum disease, dental exams are just as important for adults as children. Seniors, as well as children, are particularly vulnerable to tooth decay.
Untreated, cavities and gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Visiting a dentist regularly can help prevent oral disease and catch problems early, when they are easier to treat.
See your dentist right away if:
Gums bleed often or pull away from your teeth
Teeth are loose or separating
You see red or white patches on gums, tongue, or mouth floor
Mouth or jaw pain persists
Mouth sores don’t heal in two weeks
You have problems swallowing or chewing
“What is Tooth Decay?” Know Your Teeth, Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=C&iid=295&aid=1156/. Accessed 2013.
“For the Dental Patient: Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body.” American Dental Association. Journal of the American Dental Association. April 2006, vol. 137, p. 563. http://www.ada.org/sections/scienceAndResearch/pdfs/patient_61.pdf. Accessed 2013.
“What is Gum Disease?” Know Your Teeth, Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=w&iid=324&aid=1251. Accessed 2013.
“Oral and Dental Health.” National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. August 8, 2008. www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/dental.htm. Accessed 2013.
“Oral Health: Frequently Asked Questions.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health. September 23, 2008. http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/oral-health.cfm. Accessed 2013.
“Gum Disease." Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/g/gum-disease. Accessed 2013.
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