A Dental Checkup near Fairfax, VA Provides Lifetime Smiles

Do I Really Need a Dental Checkup?

Do you need a regular dental check up near Fairfax, VA? Yes, no question, everyone does. Your teeth are essential for quality of life. You want them to last a lifetime, providing both good chewing and a beautiful smile. The way to ensure that is with a regular dental checkup near Fairfax, VA.

Not everyone realizes how important early detection is. From cavities to diabetes, the dentist can help give you early warning of problems that cause major trouble for your overall health.

For every type of medical and dental problem, the earlier you deal with it, the better chance you have of fixing the problem. It often means fewer appointments, less money out-of-pocket and less pain if you get the difficulty dealt with right away.

Here is a rundown of how regular visits can make you healthier and save you time, money and pain.

It’s Not Just Your Mouth

Though you probably think the reason you go to the dentist is so he can find cavities and fix them; there is much more involved. Your dentist is a healthcare provider that often sees the first signs of major illnesses.

That’s why he does an examination of your head and neck, throat and tongue. He is looking for swelling and other abnormalities. He is looking for early signs of cancer, vitamin deficiencies, and other problems.

He will check how your lower jaw moves, checking for signs of TMJ problems. He looks at your lymph nodes, the tissues of your mouth and the appearance of your tongue.

Here is a closer look at what your dentist can find at a regular dental checkup near Fairfax, VA.

Dementia. People suffering from cognitive impairment, including confusion, disorganization, and memory problems, often have bad oral hygiene. In fact, bad oral care can even contribute to causing dementia. The Journal of the American Geriatric Society published a study that monitored over 5,000 seniors for 18 years.

The findings were alarming. Those who didn’t brush their teeth at least once every day were more likely, by a rate of 65%, to develop signs of dementia. Scientists speculated that the bacteria in the mouth travels to the brain and causes inflammation.

Heart Disease. Loose teeth can be an early sign of heart problems. Gum disease is also an indicator. The bacteria from the gums travels via the bloodstream to the heart. Bacteria aids in the formation of clots and plaque buildup in the artery walls. All of this reduces blood flow to the heart.

According to a study done in Sweden, those who have pockets of gum infection around the base of the tooth have more than a 50% higher chance of heart attack, when compared to people with very few pockets.

Diabetes. Millions of Americans have Type 2 diabetes and millions more are at risk. Sure signs of a problem are bleeding gums, loose teeth, and signs of gum disease. If you already have diabetes, these infections make it worse. It is essential that you keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy if you are worried about diabetes. That’s why a regular dental checkup near Fairfax, VA, is so important.

Osteoporosis. This disease involves brittle bones and general weakening of bone strength. It also affects the bone that holds your teeth in place. If you are developing osteoporosis, you will probably end up with loose teeth and a gum line that is receding. Your dentist might spot these signs before you are even aware there is a problem.

Eating Disorders. People fighting bulimia and anorexia want to hide the problem. But the dentist can often detect the signs. These eating disorders result is bad nutrition, which leads directly to dry mouth, bleeding gums, and other oral health problems.

People with bulimia, who throw up their food, will often have eroded surfaces on the inside of their front teeth. The acid in the stomach erodes the enamel, as well as contributing to tooth sensitivity. The dentist can usually spot this early on a dental checkup near Fairfax, VA.

Nighttime Reflux. This erosion can also happen on the upper back molars. It is a good indicator that the person has gastroesophageal reflux disease, usually called GERD. The reflux happens at night, affecting the surface of your teeth. But you may not be aware of it. Your dentist will spot signs right away.

GERD is dangerous. It causes erosion in the esophagus and can lead to cancer. Simple treatment can include not eating in the hours leading up to bedtime, taking medication to block the acid and even elevating the head of your bed.

Dry Mouth. Dry mouth is frustrating, but it is also a problem for the health of your mouth. Did you know that it can lead to cavities and gum disease? That’s because saliva is one of the major ways your body gets rid of bacteria and food debris. Dry mouth is also associated with diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

Two ways to handle the problem are by increasing how much liquid you drink or using a saliva substitute. When you come in for a regular dental checkup near Fairfax, VA, the dentist can help you fix the problem before it causes problems for your teeth.

Dental-Related Problems that Checkups Find

Of course, most of the problems that the dentist will find will be focused on the health of your teeth and gums. During a dental checkup near Fairfax, VA, the dentist will do a physical exam of your mouth, teeth, and gums. This helps him spot oral health problems that you are probably not even aware of.

He will check your teeth for signs of cavities. He will measure the space between your teeth and gums. The deeper the space, the more likely it is that you have the beginnings of gum disease. He will also look for signs of loose teeth, which is another symptom of gum disease.

During the dental checkup near Fairfax, VA, the dentist will look at your old fillings to make sure they are in good condition. If you have a broken tooth, he will make note of it so you can get it fixed in a timely manner. Every two or three visits, he will arrange for you to have X-rays taken. This gives him a closer look at the state of your mouth.

Preventing Problems

During your dental checkup near Fairfax, VA, the dental hygienist will clean your teeth. She has specific tools that help her thoroughly remove plaque and tartar buildup. These are what cause cavities and inflammation. The process, called scaling, also gets rid of many of the stains that affect your tooth surface.

She will polish your teeth, to make them bright and shiny, then floss between. When the hygienist is finished, the surface of your teeth will be clean and smooth.

Getting rid of the bacteria that is part of tartar and plaque removes the source of cavities. It also reduces the bacteria in your mouth, which leads to gum disease. This bacteria can also travel to other parts of your body, causing a host of serious diseases.

Prevent Problems—It’s Easier That Way

Here at Annandale Smiles, we know how much easier it is to find problems early, before they hurt, before they take multiple visits to fix, and before they cost you a lot of money that the insurance company won’t cover. That’s why we consider a regular dental checkup near Fairfax, VA, an essential part of each of our patient’s overall health.

When you come in every six months, the dentist can spot problems early. This means it takes less time to fix the problem, whether it is a cavity or the first signs of gum disease. And if you have sign of other types of medical problems, you can get an early warning so you can tell your medical doctor and provide you with peace of mind.

The dentists, dental hygienists, assistants and staff here at Annandale Smiles have years of experience serving the local community. We are proud of our reputation for thoroughness, attention to detail and helpful customer service. Our goal is to help you keep your teeth in excellent shape for a lifetime.

Annandale Smiles is known as a one-stop dental practice. We take care of every member of the family over the course of a lifetime, from toddlers to teens, adults to seniors. When everyone in the family goes to the same dentist, it makes record keeping and getting to appointments so much easier. We also offer a range of appointment times because we know how busy the modern family is.

At Annandale Smiles, we handle a range of dental services, including:

  • TMJ care
  • Metal-free crowns
  • Preventive dentistry
  • Root canals
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Gum care
  • Dental implants
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Teeth whitening
  • Sedation dentistry
  • Invisalign
  • Dentures and partials
  • Tooth-colored fillings
  • Fountain of Youth dentures

For a dental checkup near Fairfax, VA, call the professionals at Annandale Smiles today.