Engaging in consistent dental care and using general dentistry services regularly is a minimal investment in personal health. Taking care of the teeth provides benefits for the mouth and the digestive system in addition to reducing your chance of developing infections that can damage the body long-term. Even if consistent dental care has not been a part of your routine for years or decades, it's never too late to get started and work on minimizing or reversing any damage.
Why dental care is important
According to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, gum disease is the top reason adults lose their teeth, and gum disease is largely preventable through regular brushing and flossing. Routine visits to the dentist's office for more robust cleaning also help combat plaque that has converted to tartar.
Studies have also shown a correlation between dental health and overall well-being. Infections that start in the gums can often travel to other parts of the body and lead to long-term health issues. Recent research also documents the societal impacts dental issues bring. While long anecdotally acknowledged, a study from The American Geriatrics Society published in 2021 showed maintaining as many teeth as possible into old age helped adults continue with numerous quality-of-life activities at a better rate. These included shopping, meal preparation, and speaking on the phone.
What happens when a care program starts
The National Institute of Health reports that gum disease gingivitis can be reversed with routine home care and regular cleaning services. If left untreated, gingivitis may transition into periodontitis, a more powerful infection that can develop in pockets caused by gum disease. Over time, this breaks down bone and tissue and can lead to tooth loss. While the damage associated with periodontitis is not reversible, regular dental care and consultation with a dentist can help stop it from developing further and mitigate some of the long-term effects.
A dentist can also help address any cosmetic concerns impeding social activities and overall confidence. For teeth that are in good condition following a cleaning and possible fillings, there are many solutions. Discoloration may be addressed by bleaching or the use of veneers. Veneers on the front of the teeth may also be used to hide the impacts of enamel loss, or a crown utilized to provide additional strength and cosmetic improvements after a root canal.
Gaps in a smile can be corrected with partial dentures. Partials allow you to keep all of your natural teeth and feature a molded tooth of acrylic or covered metal to fill open spaces. When tooth extractions are necessary, a dentist can ensure they are completed safely and may even recommend a full upper or lower denture to provide a bright smile. Dentures are crafted to mimic the size of your natural teeth and brightness can be adjusted based on personal preferences.