Why is Preventive Dentistry Crucial for Overall Health?

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In modern times, most of us are well aware of the benefits of regular trips to the dentist when it comes to protecting our teeth, gums, and oral health in general. Many people are surprised to learn, however, that preventive dental exams and cleanings can also play a role in reducing the risk of developing certain conditions and complications related to your overall health. At Drs. Hamlett and La Mastra, Dallas, TX dentist Dr. Salvator La Mastra and our dedicated team are committed not only to helping patients preserve their dental and oral health but also to helping safeguard patients' long-term health and wellness by reducing their risk of developing dental and oral conditions that are associated with more serious complications. Keep reading to learn more about the connection between your dental health and overall health, including why preventive dentistry is critical for safeguarding both.

What is meant by preventive dentistry?

Preventive dentistry — sometimes known as preventative dentistry — includes a wide variety of treatments, procedures, and strategies used to minimize a person's risk of developing unwanted oral and dental issues — like cavities, tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth loss, bad breath, and others. Some of the more common services included in preventive dentistry are:

  • Dental exams (checkups)
  • Dental cleanings
  • Periodontal therapy
  • Oral cancer screening
  • Night guards, mouth guards, and other appliances

How does preventive dentistry impact your overall health?

During routine dental checkups and cleanings — which are typically recommended twice per year for the average patient — our team will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, mouth, and other oral structures. This allows us to identify problems that may be present in their earliest stages, when they may be easier to treat, and before worsening complications may develop. Additionally, the teeth will be meticulously cleaned to remove plaque and tartar buildup that would not be possible to remove with at-home brushing and flossing alone. By removing this buildup, the risk of gum disease, halitosis, decay, and other issues is greatly reduced.

In terms of how preventive dentistry is linked to your overall health, there are several important considerations. Oral cancer, for one, may be prevented or at least diagnosed in its earliest stages with a dedicated preventive dentistry routine, sparing patients from a potentially life-threatening condition. Additionally, periodontal disease and lingering bacteria in the mouth are known to be associated with a higher risk of hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and other serious health issues. By adhering to your regular dental exam and cleaning schedule, you can boost your oral and dental health while reducing your risk of conditions and problems known to be associated with certain oral issues.

How often do I really need to go to the dentist?

Even if your teeth and gums look and feel healthy, there could be lingering bacteria and developing issues beneath the surface that do not produce symptoms until they become more problematic — like oral cancer, for instance. For patients whose dental and oral health are otherwise intact, we may recommend a regular schedule of twice-yearly dental checkups and cleanings, while patients with known oral health problems may require more frequent visits. Throughout the course of your care at Drs. Hamlett and La Mastra, our team will closely monitor your dental and oral health and adjust your follow-up schedule as needed.

Reduce multiple health risk factors with regular dental checkups and preventive cleanings in Dallas, TX

When it comes to almost anything — including your dental health and overall wellness — proactive prevention is preferable to reactive treatment. For more information about the critical importance of preventive dentistry, call Drs. Hamlett and La Mastra to schedule your consultation and exam with Dallas, TX dentist Dr. Salvator La Mastra today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.