A piece of advice you very often hear is about following a regular dental check-up, even if you hate going. No one truly enjoys going to the dentist, no matter how kind and professional they are. However, it doesn’t matter, and any hang-ups you may have about sitting in the dentist’s chair needs to be taken care of regardless. Oral hygiene isn’t just a matter of vanity, but it is key to your overall health. Problems with your teeth can become bigger issues later on, so you need to do your best to take care of yourself by getting regular check-ups. Here are a few more concrete reasons to make a habit out of visiting your dentist.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a vicious disease that can manifest in different ways, but the key to detection is through regular visits to the dentist. It doesn’t have any visible signs at the beginning, which is why it’s not diagnosed very often and can progress quickly, becoming life-threatening in a short period of time. As frightening as that is, the good thing is that it can be treated relatively easily once you’ve been able to spot it early on. Only a good dentist will be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of this malignant disease; but only if you are regular with your check-ups.

Gum Disease

While we often concentrate on those dreaded cavities, another worse outcome of plaque and tartar buildup is gum disease. To prevent this, you should look for a dentist irving tx locals know well and depend on, one who has experience in identifying and solving this problem. At its core, gum disease is a particularly strong cause of tooth decay that can erode gum tissues. Tartar buildup causes infestation in areas in which the gum connects to the tooth. It looks as though the gum is pulling away entirely, leaving more of your tooth visible. It can lead to progressive gingivitis and progress until even the teeth break down.

Lymph Nodes

One thing you probably never realized a dentist could help you with is checking out the lymph nodes in your head and neck. In addition to checking your mouth and gums for oral cancer or signs of tooth decay, your dentist will also check for any abnormalities like lumps or swelling near or below your jawline. If you have an abnormality, this could be the sign of a major health issue, and your dentist will have to alert you on the possibility of seeing a medical professional for more information. A dentist doesn’t work in a silo, solely focusing on the mouth: their job is to detect other issues from which you may be suffering, and find a solution ASAP.

Sure, a dental professional is there to help you clean your teeth and cultivate a pretty smile, but that’s not all. They are one element to ensuring that you have excellent overall health year-round. Without them, you won’t be able to assess whether or not your oral hygiene is up to the mark, so a regular series of check-ups is definitely worth the effort.