Some higher risk patients should see their dentist more frequently

Guest article by Shelia Shah, DMD


There are several conditions and circumstances that may require seeing your dentist more frequently than one time per year. Below is a bit of information on who should speak with a dentist about scheduling appointments more often.

Diabetics – Because diabetics are at higher risk for developing problems like fungal infections and gum disease, we recommend that they visit a dentist more often than once per year.

Dr. Sheila Shah, DMD of Macon Smiles
Dr. Sheila Shah, DMD

Women Who are Pregnant – The risk of gum inflammation and other problems with oral health can surge during pregnancy due to high hormone levels, so pregnant women should see the dentist more often than once per year.

Tobacco Users – Tobacco usage puts people at higher risk for developing periodontal disease and oral cancer, requiring more frequent dental visits.

People with Heart Disease – Because dental health has been linked with heart health, people with heart disease should see their dentist for frequent professional cleanings.

People Who Drink Mainly Well Water – Since well water typically does not contain an adequate amount of fluoride, people who drink mainly well water should see their dentists more often for oral checkups.

People Who Eat Inadequate Diets – When a consistently poor diet is consumed along with too much sugary food, the risk for developing gum disease and tooth decay rises, requiring more frequent trips to the dentist.

People Taking Certain Medications & Those with Dry Mouth -Many different types of medications, including certain antidepressants, antihistamines, and muscle relaxants can result in a drop in saliva production, raising the risk for development of tooth decay and gum disease. The same holds true for people with dry mouth, as there is simply not enough saliva being produced to flush harmful bacteria out of the mouth.

Most dentists recommend patients visit their offices at least twice per year. In addition to the above reasons, visiting a dentist every six months for a thorough oral exam to check the health of teeth and gums allows the dentist to look for any early signs of oral cancer, and allows the hygienist to professionally clean your teeth and remove stubborn deposits, making your teeth look and feel great.

Regular visits to the dentist help keep your smile healthy and attractive. Twice annually is just a standard recommendation, however, and not a “one-size-fits-all” steadfast rule. Discuss risk factors with your dentist, and know how often you should schedule visits.

Dr. Sheila Shah, DMD, LLC, offers Laser, Cosmetic, and General Dentistry at MaconSmiles, located in Macon, GA. She is a 1995 graduate of the Dental College at Augusta University, and is committed to staying on the cutting edge of advancements in the field of dentistry. To schedule a complimentary dental consultation with Dr. Shah, you may contact her via www.MaconSmiles.com.

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