People get sick, and germs and bacteria gain entry into the body in various ways. However, the primary path is through the mouth. It provides immediate access to vital body systems. It allows bacteria to take up residence on the tongue, roof of the mouth, and teeth.
When too much bacteria settle on the teeth, it could spell disaster. Regular dental visits — usually yearly — can help keep bacteria under control and stop an outbreak before it gets too serious. Before canceling that checkup, consider what might happen if you wait too long between visits.
Bacteria on Teeth Means Trouble
You may believe that brushing alone can keep your teeth free of unsavory bacteria. While brushing does reduce the contaminants that eat away at teeth, brushing alone is not enough. Part of good oral hygiene is upkeep and maintenance that cannot be done at home with a brush alone. Yearly cleanings can wipe the surface of the teeth better than your brush. Flossing is also handled better by a hygienist, and if you don’t floss, you may be allowing a perfect breeding ground of bacteria to flourish. The result may be cavity-riddled teeth that you may not know about until they become painful.
Bacteria growing on teeth eventually burrow down to the gums, resulting in gum disease. This condition’s telltale symptom is bleeding when brushing. The bacteria continue to compromise gums, causing them to recede from the teeth and opening up a passageway underneath.
Bacteria Under the Gums
When gums are compromised, they provide the perfect pathway for bacteria to funnel under the gum line. An abscess — a painful bump that appears on the gum — is an indication of infection. A trip to the dentist may be required for intervention. An antibiotic may be enough to clear the issue; however, in some cases, the root may be too compromised. If this is the case, oral surgery in the form of a root canal might be required to clean out the infection.
Direct Access to the Bloodstream
When bacteria falls below the gum line, dental intervention may not be enough. In some instances, the bacteria may make its way to the bloodstream and infect other body systems, increasing the chances of suffering a blood clot that could cause a stroke or heart attack.
Regular visits to a dentistry practice can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and infections. Warding off bacteria before it can cause issues is essential in maintaining overall body health.
Contact a dentist, like a family dentist in Cary, NC, if you are due for a cleaning or have questions about your dental health.
Thanks to Alliance Dentistry for their insight into why regular visits to the dentist are important.