There’s no way to sugarcoat it: many households across America are suffering the effects of the current economic slowdown, and people are worried about their finances. When household budgets are tight, consumers start looking to cut down on what they consider to be unnecessary services, and in some cases that includes dental checkups. Before you cut us out of your schedule, please consider carefully the many repercussions of this decision, and how it could rebound to end up costing you more money in the long run.
It’s a proven fact that overall health is linked to oral health. In fact, the American Academy of Periodontology has evidence that infections in the mouth can lead to a host of other, seemingly unrelated, medical problems in some people. The rationale behind this is that periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a bacterial infection, and infections starting in the mouth could easily enter the blood stream and travel to major organs to begin new infections.
While more research continues to be conducted, findings to-date suggest a possible link between periodontal disease and a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, uncontrolled diabetes, preterm births and respiratory disease.
Even if your mouth and teeth feel fine to you, we, as dentists, cannot stress strongly enough the importance of regular dental checkups. Gum disease is something that is often hard to detect without a formal examination, which is why your dental visits should be a regular part of your health schedule.
We urge you to be diligent with your dental appointments especially if you already have heart or lung disease, diabetes or osteoporosis and low bone mass, if you are thinking of becoming pregnant, or if you have a family member with periodontal disease. Routine oral examinations can also uncover symptoms of oral cancer, eating disorders, substance abuse and HIV.
Thorough dental checkups, including X-rays when necessary, are an essential part of preventive health maintenance. Don’t wait until something hurts; if you haven’t already scheduled your next dental checkup, please call us today! 734.485.2200