Have you been to Smilemakers, your dentist in Southampton, for a check-up within the last six months? If not, you are probably behind and bad things might be happening in your mouth.
What? You can’t feel any pain? No, you probably can’t, but that doesn’t mean that something’s not happening. The three main things, we, as a dentist in Southampton, are on the lookout for when you come to us a for a check-up are tooth decay, gum disease and mouth cancer. All three of these serious problems cause no pain in their early stages. And all three are much harder to treat and more expensive, in their later stages i.e. when you have become aware that something is wrong.
Plaque: the main culprit
Plaque is the main culprit behind tooth decay and gum disease. It is that sticky film that builds up on your teeth throughout the day. Forget to brush and floss for more than three days and that plaque hardens into tartar. Then it won’t brush away. That sounds pretty dreadful-looking, but the main issue with plaque is acid. Plaque is made up of bacteria that feed on sugars in your mouth. They give off an acid that eats into your tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay. Leave decay for long enough and you are looking at root canal therapy, even extraction and replacement. Not very nice on you, or your bank account.
When the acid is around the gum line, it irritates and inflames the gums, creating pockets between the gum and the teeth. More plaque can then get under the gum and give off acid that attacks the bone. Left undealt with, this advanced gum disease, known as periodontitis, can loosen teeth, and even cause them to fall out. And it’s very hard to treat.
Mouth cancer is on the rise. It often starts off as a lump inside the mouth, or soft tissues in the neck. We can give you a screening for mouth cancer. This is especially important if you drink or smoke, and don’t eat much fruit and vegetables.
Book a check-up with your dentist in Southampton today.