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Regular preventive dental care is not just important to protect your teeth and gums… it’s a key window into your overall health. Regular dental check-ups at Dousman Family Dentistry help you maintain a bright, shining smile, but it’s also an invaluable tool in detecting or preventing chronic illnesses before they become more serious.
The mouth provides many clues to things going on in the body. Our doctors and staff take a careful look to evaluate the overall health of your teeth and gums, identify tooth decay or other areas of concern, and identify alignment or bite problems that may need to be addressed. Sealants or fluoride treatments (through age 16) are often used to protect against cavities. We will also talk with you about any recommendations we have about how to maintain strong and healthy teeth at home.
Periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease, is the #1 reason for tooth loss, beating out tooth decay by a 2 to 1 margin! In addition, it’s also connected to numerous chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems, premature births, stroke, and osteoarthritis. For example, gum disease is four times more common in those who have rheumatoid arthritis than in those who don’t. As part of the preventive exam, you’ll undergo screening not just for gum disease, but also oral cancer and temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) problems.
At a typical preventive appointment, you will first meet a dental hygienist, who will do a basic exam, teeth cleaning, and fluoride application (if necessary). Digital x-rays, which are more comfortable and offer more detailed diagnostic images at lower radiation levels, may be taken as well.
Our doctors will do a more comprehensive exam and then talk with you about any recommendations for next steps related to the exam or provide education and instruction for oral hygiene.
Through regular preventive visits you can ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy, address issues before they become painful or result in more serious dental work, and discover other illnesses.
*American Hygienists Association, Perio.org