Category Archives: Dental Health

Why Dental Checkups Are Crucial to Dental Health



It is estimated about 50% of American adults do not make it to the dentist for an annual check-up. This is often the result being afraid of the dentist, not having dental insurance, or even just a lack of caring. Unfortunately, if you are not having a check-up at least once per year, you are leaving yourself susceptible to a plethora of problems. Read on to learn why having an annual dental check-up is critical to your dental health.

Regular Check-Ups Help with Deep Cleaning

Even people who avoid candy and sugary drinks and who brush regularly can still have a buildup of tartar and plaque on their teeth, especially deep down in the crevices. When you go to the dentist, he or she will often deep clean your teeth by using a special tool designed to pick tartar and plaque out of the crevices of your teeth.

Annual Visits Prevent Future Problems and Expenses

In addition to being essential for deep cleaning, going to the visit annually can help spot potential problems before you end up in an emergency dentist visit because you are already in pain. Dentists perform an examination of your teeth, gums, tongue, and even your neck and throat during an annual check-up. This is to check for problem areas that can indicate gum or mouth disease, cancer of the mouth, tongue, and throat, and cavities. All of these problems can be treated once caught and the earlier you catch them, the easier (and more cheaply) they can be dealt with.

How Often You Should Visit the Dentist

By the age of two, your child should have visited the dentist at least once unless there is a dental issue that you need to bring to someone’s attention. From there, children and adults typically need to visit the dentist about once a year for a deep cleaning and a check-up.

While this annual schedule works for most, other people require a more frequent visiting schedule. If you have a history of cavities or heavy plaque build-up, are a smoker, or if you have conditions such as pregnancy, diabetes, or existing gum disease, you may need to visit more frequently. Speak to your oral hygienist to find out what the best check-up schedule is for your mouth.

Emergency Visits to the Dentist

Sometimes, problems will arise after your annual check-up that may dictate an emergency trip to the dentist. Here are some of the warning signs that indicate that you should get in to see someone in the near future.

You Experience New or Heavier Bleeding When Brushing

Sometimes, something as simple as brushing with the wrong toothbrush can cause bleeding. Other times, however, bleeding can be a sign of gum sensitivity or even early gingivitis. If you have new bleeding of the gums or if you notice bleeding that is heavier than it was at the time of your check-up, be sure to have the problem evaluated as soon as you can.

You Have New Sensitivity to Certain Foods

If you have a cavity or gum disease, one of the early warning signs can be pain when you eat certain foods. Foods that are too hot or cold and even sweets like candy and desserts can cause sharp pains that indicate a problem. If you do have this issue, make sure that you make a note of which foods cause it. Avoid the types of food that are causing your pain and be sure to tell your dentist what they are when you schedule for his or her next available appointment.

You Have Worsening Bad Breath

If you have noticed that your bad breath has worsened or that no matter how much you brush, it just won’t go away? If this is the case, you may want to bring it up to your dentist, soon. Worsening bad breath can be an indication of dry mouth, decreased saliva flow, and even active gum disease. These are all things that you want to catch sooner rather than later because they can worsen even after a week or two of being unmanaged.

The Role of Oral Hygienists in Your Health

If you haven’t learned yet from reading this article, your dentist plays quite a large role in your health. Not only do they vigilantly watch for things like mouth and throat cancer, oral hygienists remove plaque build-up that (when swallowed) can contribute to plaque build-up in the arteries around your heart. This means that whether you have insurance or not, or even if fear is holding you back, you need to find it within yourself to go to the dentist at least once per year. Once there, you can talk to your dentist about the dental checkup schedule that is best for you. If you’re one of those people that has put it off for too long, make an appointment with your local dentist today.


Smoking and Your Dental Health

Unless you’ve been living on Mars or under the rock somewhere, chances are that you have heard that smoking is not only bad for you, it could literally kill you — albeit not immediately.



While there’s talk about the overall effects on the body, what isn’t often talked about is its direct impact on its first point of contact, which is the mouth. If you are serious about your dental health and want to improve it, but are currently an avid smoker like myself, this article is for both of us.

In this article, we’ll show you the damages that smoking can do to your teeth and mouth as well as what it can do to your overall health. We know you’ve been told that it can cause lung cancer, but because its effects aren’t readily obvious, there’s always the tendency to ignore the warning.

Bad Breath 

Come on, we know you drink Listerine, suck on breath mints or tic-tac, chew gum or lick something minty. While this works in the short term, the reality is it doesn’t work long term — the lingering effects of the habit still remain.

For instance, smoking interferes with the production of saliva, which is necessary for keeping your breath fresh. But because of this, your salivary gland ends up producing far less saliva, resulting in the increased population of bacteria in your mouth, dry mouth and the subsequent bad breath.

Yellowed Teeth

Ever seen a smoked animal head? What do the teeth look like? Yellow, right? Well, the same goes for smokers. Every time you drag a puff, you’re slowly producing the same results as you would if your head was set on fire.

Smoking results in yellowed teeth with dark patches lining the junction between the teeth and the gums. This also results in irritation and discoloration to the gums themselves.

Increases the Risk of Gum Disease

Smoking has been linked to gum diseases. Gum diseases triggered by smoking occur as the attachment of soft tissue and bone in and around the teeth becomes compromised.

Your gums need these gum tissue cells to function optimally and reproduce the necessary tissues at a specific rate. What happens in smokers is that the production of these cells is slowed down, resulting in unhealthy gums as well as the restriction of blood flow to the gums, courtesy of the fact that nicotine is a vasoconstrictor.

As a result, most smokers become prone to oral infections, which when left unattended can result in gum disease and a slower healing of oral wounds.

Possible Cause of Leukoplakia

Ever seen anyone with white patches in their mouths? Well, these repulsive patches aren’t only detrimental to your health, they do absolutely nothing for your social and sex life — after all, no one wants to kiss anyone with white patches in their mouth.

These white patches which can be found on the tongue, the floor of the mouth or inner cheeks are often caused by a severe irritation of the mucous membranes in the mouth. While there are many causes of this irritation, one of the more common causes is smoking.

Other possible side effects include the possibility of developing oral cancer, suffering inflamed salivary glands and delays healing from oral procedures. The best thing to do, therefore, is to stop smoking today and see a professional, like Ft. Lauderdale Dentist Dr. Johnson, about improving your oral health.

If you must get your nicotine fix, we would suggest cutting out traditional cigarettes and opt for e-cigs or nicotine patches. They may not be the real thing, but they get the job done and seem to be the slightly healthier alternative. That said, there’s never going to be a “good time” to quit…except today, of course.