As the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continues, it’s understandable that you’d be hesitant to visit your dentist or doctor during these challenging times. If you don’t have an emergency and are not experiencing any symptoms, isn’t it safer to stay home?
The dentist isn’t considered an elective provider. Research has shown just how important your oral health is to your entire body. Preventing problems with your smile can not only save you money but help support your general health.
Here’s why you shouldn’t consider putting off your regular dental visits during COVID-19, and what our team at Leesburg Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is doing to protect you during this pandemic!
Many Dental Problems Don’t Have Early Symptoms
Tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease are two of the most common oral health concerns. Unfortunately, both of these conditions often don’t display early symptoms.
For many, a cavity or gingivitis—the earliest stage of gum disease—cause little to no symptoms. Your dentist is a trained professional and can quickly identify the initial signs of an issue, but if you skip your regular exam, you likely won’t know there’s a problem.
Just because you don’t have any symptoms doesn’t mean your smile is problem-free. If you have a lingering symptom, such as tooth sensitivity or gum tenderness, these are early indicators of a problem that will continue to get worse.
Smaller Problems Can Turn into Major Issues
Postponing treatment for oral health conditions also has its consequences. If you have a known issue, such as a cavity, and wait months before addressing it, it will continue to get worse.
Scientifically, tooth decay is considered a disease. The cavity will progress, get deeper and larger, and eventually, lead to an infection and possibly tooth loss.
The same goes for gum disease, which can eventually compromise your entire smile. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in older adults, and the more it progresses, the harder it is to treat and reverse.
What could be a simple restorative procedure or even preventative care can turn into more extensive work. By getting your regular exams and fixing minor issues as they come up, you can avoid expensive treatment and save your smile!
Your Oral Health Is Linked to Your Immunity
Studies are increasingly showing how much a problem in your oral cavity can affect the rest of your body. Bacteria involved in gum disease have been found in arterial plaque, which indicates that oral bacteria may affect inflammation throughout the rest of the body.
Gum disease is an active infection. When your body is trying to fight off an infection, it can tax your immune system, meaning you could be more vulnerable to another health threat. We’ve seen how gum disease can exacerbate diabetes, lead to premature birth, and has even been connected to heart disease and stroke.
Keeping your smile healthy is another essential part of taking care of your body and helping your immune system stay in the best shape possible!
What Is My Dentist Doing to Protect Me?
At Leesburg Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, our patients’ health is our priority. We have always maintained strict standards for keeping our office clean and practiced protocol for protecting both our staff and patients from pathogens.
We’re following guidelines issues by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for seeing patients during the COVID-19 crisis, including:
- Conducting screenings both before and upon arrival to your appointment
- Increasing our use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Performing temperature checks
- Reducing the number of patients in our practice at any given time
- Regular cleaning and disinfecting of all equipment and surfaces
Rest assured that we are making every effort to protect you during this time and are here to answer any questions you may have!
Contact Us With Questions or Concerns
Don’t put off your regular dental visit even if you don’t have symptoms of an oral health problem. Come in and see us for an appointment to ensure your smile is healthy and receive your regular preventative care at Leesburg Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. Contact us at (703) 831-3952 with any questions or concerns you may have, or to book an appointment with us!