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When 2 Dental Exams Per Year Might Not Be Enough

Dentist Exam
Regular dental examinations are necessary to prevent dental problems. The frequency can be once-a-year, twice-a-year, or more than that. Here are some of the situations in which you need more than two examinations every year.

You Smoke

Smoking is a risk factor for many health conditions, and dental problems are just some of them. Smoking can:
  • Discolor your teeth
  • Increase the time your oral wounds take to heal
  • Interfere with your dental implant integration
  • Give you bad breath
  • Increase your risk of gum disease
All the above issues mean that a smoker is more likely to develop dental issues than a nonsmoker. As such, a smoker should not stick to the general advice of two dental exams per year. Instead, opt for more frequent dental exams so the dentist can identify and treat any dental problems in their infancy.

You Suffer From Bruxism

Bruxism is a dental condition where you grind and clench your teeth regularly. Those who suffer from bruxism grind their teeth even when they are asleep. Unfortunately, bruxism has harmful effects for your teeth; for example, it can:
  • Fracture the teeth
  • Loosen or dislodge the teeth
  • Erode the teeth enamel (that increases the risk of dental decay)
  • Trigger jaw pain
Therefore, don't wait for six months to elapse before you go for a dental exam if you suffer from bruxism. The dentist may recommend a mouthguard to keep your bruxism in check so that you don't have to suffer the above consequences.

You Are Pregnant

The American Pregnancy Association (APA) advises pregnant mothers to go for preventive dental cleanings. When you get pregnant, your body experiences a surge of hormones that cause your gums to swell and bleed. These changes make your gums more susceptible to irritations and bacteria attack, and preventive dental cleaning can help lower the risk.
What is more, dental problems during pregnancy can also affect your unborn baby. Gum disease increases the risk of premature delivery or underweight babies. A dental examination and cleaning can help you avoid gum disease and its nasty consequences if you are pregnant.

You Have a Dental Condition

You should not wait for six months to elapse to see your dentist if you have a chronic dental problem. For example, you should consult your dentist if you have misaligned teeth, hypersensitive teeth, or dental caries, among other dental problems. Without good dental care, the problems can worsen and even lead to teeth loss.

You Have Diabetes

Uncontrolled diabetes increases your risk of dental problems. The increase comes in two main ways. First, diabetes reduces the flow of blood to your gums, and the reduced blood supply weakens your gums' resistance to diseases. Secondly, diabetes also dries up the mouth, and a dry mouth syndrome increases the risk of bacteria attack on the teeth.
Therefore, a diabetic person requires more frequent dental exams than those who don't have diabetes. However, your risk of dental problems and your need for frequent dental exams reduce if you have your diabetes under control.

You Are on Medication

Lastly, you should also opt for more frequent dental exams if you are on medication that can damage your teeth. Here are some of the ways some drugs can harm your teeth:
  • Acidic medication can erode your teeth's enamel and make the teeth more susceptible to decay.
  • Sugary medications feed the bacteria that attack your teeth.
  • Blood thinners make your gums bleed easily (that makes the gum vulnerable to bacteria attack).
  • Some medications dry up the mouth and make the teeth susceptible to bacteria attack and plaque formation.
Therefore, increase your frequency of dental exams and cleanings as long as you are still on medication.  
Don't assume that two dental exams per year are enough for you. Instead, consult Eastland Dental Center & Professional Dental Care for a thorough review so that we can advise you on the best schedule for your case.