Most parents know to take their children to the dentist regularly, to note if those kids are developing cavities or need to be referred to an orthodontist for tooth straightening. However, many adults neglect visiting the dentist for their own oral hygiene and care; this might be because they're afraid of potential pain of a dental treatment, or because they simply don't understand the importance of this care. Note why dental checkups are so vital for adults, even if you think your teeth are healthy, and especially if you know that some of your teeth are damaged or rotted.


A tooth infection can mean pain and discomfort, as well as swelling of the sinuses, which then interferes with your breathing. A tooth infection can also make eating very painful, so that your overall health suffers. In rare cases, this infection can even spread to the brain. No matter your symptoms or the risk to your health, it's good to have regular checkups and especially if you feel any discomfort in the mouth, so a dentist can check for signs of an infection and then have it treated properly.

Missing teeth

If you have a missing teeth, you may have simply adjusted to this situation over the years. However, teeth stimulate the jaw bone and keep it healthy. When you're missing teeth, the bones of your jaw may then be getting soft, and other teeth may be shifting around, toward that open space in the mouth. A dentist should examine your jaw regularly, to note if you're losing bone density.

If you have a bridge that covers this area of the mouth, the bridge and the teeth surrounding that area should also be examined. This bridge is usually affixed to teeth to keep it in place, and it's good to note if those teeth are suffering damage, and if you've been cleaning around the bridge as you should, to ensure you have healthy gums and teeth.

Gum health

Your teeth may be healthy, but a dentist can examine your gums and note if there is any redness, swelling, or signs of damage to this tissue. A dentist can also note if gums are receding. These can be very dangerous to your teeth and your overall oral health, as you need strong gums to keep teeth in place. Damaged gums can also mean that you need to make changes to your oral care routine, to protect the health and condition of your teeth.