Important Things You Might Not Know About Your Dental Checkups

When you go to the dentist for a regular checkup, you probably know that your dentist and hygienist are looking for cavities. However, there's a lot more to your twice-yearly dental cleanings than you probably realize. Read on to explore a few things you probably didn't know about getting a routine dental checkup.

Your Dentist is Checking for Cancer

Sure, having those X-rays done as part of your checkup once a year can be an easy way for your dentist to detect cavities, but did you know that your dental X-rays can also be used to detect possibly cancerous tumors and other growths in the mouth and jaw regions? By detecting the presence of mouth cancer early on, you have a much better chance of survival. Just another reason to never skip your routine checkups or annual X-rays.

Your Breath Can Say a Lot

If you're like most people, you probably feel a little self conscious about your teeth and your breath when you go to see your dentist. As a result, you might make an extra effort to use mouth wash or chew gum before you head to your appointment. However, what you might not realize is that your dentist and hygienist can tell a lot about your health by your natural breath, so it might not be such a good idea to go out of your way to mask it.

Specifically, bad breath can be a symptom of gum disease, such as gingivitis or periodontitis.

Your Hygienist is Protecting Your Overall Health

When you get your teeth cleaned, you're taking an important step in improving your oral health. However, since oral health has been linked to overall physical health, your routine dental cleaning is doing a lot more for your entire body than you might realize. After all, anything that goes into your oral cavity is also entering the rest of your body. Therefore, when your dentist is scraping away at your teeth, keep in mind that he or she is getting rid of potentially harmful bacteria that you don't want in your body in the first place.

As you can see, there's a lot more to your regular dental checkups than you might have realized. Hopefully, the importance of regular checkups with the general dentist has become even more solidified in your mind. Now, is it time for you to schedule your next dental cleaning and X-rays at your local dentist?