By Mazhar M. Butt, D.M.D.
June 30, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental visits  

Does your calendar include a dental visit sometime in the next six months? Just 62 percent of Americans ages 18 - 64 visit the dentist dental visitsover the course of a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you're one of them, you could be putting your oral health at risk. Our Carbondale, IL, dentist, Dr. Mazhar Butt, explains why it's important to make dental visits a priority.

Why are regular dental visits important?

Do your teeth feel a little fuzzy when you wake up? That unpleasant feeling occurs when plaque builds up on the teeth. Plaque is dangerous because it contains bacteria, a microorganism that cause tooth decay. When you eat foods that contain either sugar or carbohydrates that are converted into sugars, the combination of the bacteria and the sugar creates an acid. The acid is so strong that eats through tooth enamel, causing a cavity.

Brushing and flossing removes plaque, which prevents the chemical reaction from occurring. Unfortunately, sometimes it's difficult to remove plaque from every nook and cranny of your teeth. The longer the bacterial film remains on your teeth, the greater the chance that it will turn into tartar. The hard deposit is not only unsightly, but also increases your gum disease risk.

Cleanings, an important part of every twice-yearly dental appointment, remove plaque and tartar, which helps you avoid tooth decay and gum disease.

You may not even know you have tooth decay if you don't visit the dentist regularly. When a cavity is small, it can't be seen outside your tooth and usually doesn't cause any pain. Thanks to dental X-rays, cavities can be spotted when they're small. Small areas of decay do less damage to your teeth, which means you won't need a large filling.

During your visit to our Carbondale, IL, office, Dr. Mazhar Butt will also look for signs that may indicate a dental problem, such as swollen gums, cracks in teeth or faulty crowns. If you have any of these issues, prompt treatment will protect your teeth and your oral health.

If a dental visit isn't on your calendar, call your Carbondale, IL, dentist Dr. Mazhar Butt at (618) 457-2123 to schedule an appointment.