Even if all your natural teeth are gone, it’s important you see your dentist every 6 months to prevent gum disease, oral cancer, and other issues.
Dentist appointments need to continue after tooth loss so we can monitor your oral health. Otherwise, you risk destroying the health of your gums, jawbone, and remaining teeth.
What many patients don’t realize is that your oral health affects more than just your teeth. To have truly good oral health, you must also take care of your gums, jawbone tissue, and throat. Some studies even suggest a link between oral health and the rest of your body. For example, people with diabetes have been shown to have a higher risk of gum disease.
Oral Cancer Screening
The American Cancer Society estimates over 50,000 Americans will get oral and throat cancer this year. Fortunately, our dentist can do an oral cancer screening to catch cancer in its early stages. Our dentist is trained to recognize oral cancer in its early stages, giving you the best chance of survival.
You’re more at risk for oral cancer if you used tobacco, abused alcohol, or have HPV (human papillomavirus). If you spend a lot of time outside, you may also have a risk of lip cancer if you didn’t use sun protection. Our dentist reviews your medical history to determine your risk factors for oral cancer.
Signs of oral cancer include:
- Red or white patches in mouth
- Sore throat
- Hoarse voice
- Mouth sore that bleeds
- Mouth sore that doesn’t heal
- Difficulty chewing
- Pain while chewing
If you recognize the signs of oral cancer, schedule an appointment with our emergency dentist as soon as possible. The sooner we detect oral cancer symptoms, the better your chance of surviving. It’s not enough to check for the signs of oral cancer yourself. Many times, oral cancer isn’t visible until it’s too late to treat. An oral cancer screening helps us catch cancer not visible to the naked eye.
Gum Disease Treatment
Early gum disease (gingivitis) can be reversed by adopting a good oral hygiene routine and seeing your dentist every 6 months for a teeth cleaning. Even if most of your natural teeth are gone, it’s important that you take care of your gums. If you wear dentures, your gums are responsible for helping hold them in place. Once your gums recede, your dentures will slip more often and become uncomfortable.
Signs of gum disease include:
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Sore gums
- Red gums
- Swollen gums
- Loose teeth
- Persistent bad breath
If left untreated, gingivitis will progress into periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is irreversible and will destroy gum and jawbone tissues over time. If you have advanced gum disease, your dentist may recommend scaling and root planing. During periodontal disease treatment, your dentist will remove plaque and tartar both above and below the gum line. Once the plaque and tartar are removed, your dentist will smooth out your tooth roots to encourage gums to reattach to your remaining teeth.
Dr. Landry DDS and his team are dedicated to helping patients maintain good oral health despite tooth loss. To schedule your appointment with our Seville dentist, call Landry Family Dentistry at (330) 769-4470.