Q. Why do you need to have regular dental care check-ups?
The chemistry of your mouth is as unique as your signature. No two are exactly alike. And so, when it says in popular magazines that “you” need only a dental hygiene appointment twice a year to stay in good dental health, some dentists get very concerned. They don’t know you. They’re referring to an “average” patient. Insurance plans also tend to believe in this mythical “average patient” and may not pay for more than a bi-annual visit.
Sure, two visits are fine for many patients, even most. But some mouths build up more deposits of calculus than others. Some mouths are naturally decay-prone. Still others, and this is critical, may be showing signs of periodontal problems.
Bleeding gums need to be taken seriously. They’re signs of an infection that can be a significant risk factor for heart disease. If you had a bleeding sore on your hand that didn’t heal you’d get to a doctor and have him check it out, right? Type I perio (gingivitis) consists of tender gums and a little bacteria-filled pocket between your tooth and gum. It’s easily treatable at this point. But if the infected pockets are allowed to enlarge, that inflammation can extend to the bone beneath and erode it.
Your dentist’s concern is for your health and your teeth, not whether you’ve made the standard number of appointments for this year. He or she wants the chemistry to be right in your mouth… and between the two of you.