It’s one appointment that some people have trouble making every six months—a dentist appointment. Everyone still has to go, even those with healthy teeth and gums. If you have a fear of the dentist or are financially unable to go, you may be doing a true disservice to your health. In fact, many health issues can be detected through a simple oral health exam at your dentist’s office. Here are just a few health issues that you might be able to avoid if you make a dentist appointment today.

Complete Loss of Teeth

Everybody fears losing their teeth. It can easily happen when you have a cavity that isn’t filled or you experience an injury to your tooth. Over time, the tooth can break away and make your entire mouth susceptible to infection. If an infection occurs and it becomes widespread throughout your mouth, you could lose all of your teeth. This is because the infection targets healthy gums and bone. If the infection can’t be controlled with antibiotics or it’s widespread, these areas deteriorate and can no longer support healthy teeth. To stop the infection and get it under control, teeth may have to be pulled. The only solution then is to have false teeth or dentures. Even if only some teeth are lost, you’ll have to have implants or partial dentures placed into the mouth. This can be an inconvenience in that it can be very costly to acquire the prosthetics because most insurance companies don’t cover them. They are often referred to as cosmetic, therefore you’ll likely have to pay out-of-pocket. A simple checkup at a dentist office like Canyon Crest Dental can prevent this from occurring.

Headaches and Migraines

When it comes to your health, one thing that can be a bothersome concern is frequent or recurrent headaches or migraines. The pain in your head can be triggered by several things including an underlying illness, sinus pressure or in some cases, a tooth. If you didn’t get your wisdom teeth taken out when you were younger, they can begin to cause serious issues as you age. They can begin coming in or shifting sideways so that they are putting pressure on surrounding nerves and teeth. The result is that they can cause your back molars to crack or push up near the teeth next to them. This can result in headaches or even severe migraine headaches that can be hard to control with over the counter pain medications. Seeing your dentist regularly means you are more likely to quickly diagnose wisdom teeth that are shifting or effacing and get them removed before they can cause more damage.

Heart Disease

Heart disease can trigger a myriad of problems including increasing your risk for a cardiovascular event or stroke. Having teeth that are infected or triggering severe nerve pain can contribute to an increased risk of heart attack. Making sure that your teeth aren’t cracked and they are cleaned frequently can prevent the bacteria from building and eventually being released into your bloodstream. Working closely with your medical doctor and your dentist is the best way to stay on top of both your oral hygiene as well as your cardiovascular health. For example, if your bloodwork shows an elevation of c-reactive protein, it could indicate a marker for inflammation inside your blood vessels, explains the Cleveland Clinic.  Eating foods that are low in fat, starch and sugar are small steps that you can take to help keep your oral and overall health in tip-top shape.  

Unbalanced Diet

While having an infected tooth is one thing, the pain caused from not being able to chew food properly can affect how you eat. An unbalanced diet can lead to other health problems that can affect your health and nutrition. Broken or missing teeth can make it hard to chew certain solid foods. This can lead to weight loss and malnutrition. Visiting your dentist routinely will allow you to get teeth repaired, pulled and replaced if needed before it becomes a huge issue. If you have sensitive gums or your nerves are over sensitive, it can not only make it hard to eat but the pain can be unbearable. A root canal or dental filling can give you the pain relief you need and restore your mouth into a healthy state once again.

Keeping your dental appointments is imperative to good oral health. If you can’t afford the dentist, call them. There are several options like payment plans and health savings plans that may be able to help you afford your services.