Most dentists recommend that people in average health come in for dental checkups every six months. These visits include a cleaning and exam to check for issues and perform preventive care like plaque and tartar removal. While this schedule may work for people in otherwise good health, those with certain medical conditions may need to schedule dental checkups more frequently in order to avoid painful and damaging dental problems.
People who have diabetes are at an increased risk of gum diseases such as periodontitis, as well as cavities, dry mouth and other dental problems. People with diabetes are also at an increased risk of tooth loss. If you have diabetes, your dentist may recommend dental checkups every three months. This is especially true if your diabetes is poorly controlled.
If you have any dental diseases such as gum disease, loose teeth, bone loss, temporomandibular joint syndrome or bruxism, your dentist may have you come in for visits every three to four months. You may also need to come in for more frequent visits during and after treatment for conditions such as a dental abscess, loss of a tooth, denture fitting or the installation of a dental implant. The frequency of your visits may be reduced if your condition improves.
Smokers are at an increased risk of many kinds of dental problems. Smoking increases the risk of oral cancer, which can be detected by your dentist during an oral exam. Smoking may also increase your risk of gum inflammation and bleeding, loosening of your teeth and teeth loss. Many smokers also experience recession of their gums, which leads to tooth pain. Your dentist may recommend dental checkups every three months if you are a smoker.