Because we are committed to preventing dental problems before they happen, we recommend that all of our patients see us at least every six months for a routine cleaning and examination. Dental problems usually start out small but can quickly worsen to become much more serious. These problems are much easier to treat—or better yet avoid—if they are caught early.
One example of this is gingivitis. The effects of gingivitis are reversible. But when gingivitis advances into periodontal disease, the bone loss that can result is not reversible.
Another example is a small cavity on the surface of a tooth. This can easily be fixed, but if it spreads to the inner layers of the tooth, we may need to perform root canal therapy and restore the tooth with a crown. This can also be the case with a cracked filling. It can usually be fixed quite easily. If untreated, it may lead to an infection in the tooth’s inner pulp layer that also must be treated through root canal therapy.
A bad bite can also contribute to problems with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
and can cause the painful cycle of muscle spasms and other jaw-joint problems commonly known as TMD, or temporomandibular disorder. There are ways to treat TMD and the sooner treatment begins the sooner the painful symptoms can be relieved.
The problems mentioned above are just a few of the many avoidable or treatable problems that, if left untreated, can quickly become much worse.