It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to take care of your teeth and gums. For one thing, even if you do not care about your teeth, the rest of your health could be suffering if your gums and teeth are not being cared for properly. People who do not take good care of their gums and teeth have higher chances of developing heart disease and diabetes. Plus, as you might expect, if you do not take care of your teeth, they really can fall out. Practicing good oral hygiene involves brushing and flossing every day, but it also involves regular trips to the dentist. The reason you need to go to the dentist regularly is the fact that your teeth and gums can develop problems over time. If you do not go to the dentist often enough, these problems can progress. The timeframe recommended for visiting the dentist is approximately once every six months. By going to the dentist at least twice a year, you substantially reduce the risk that an oral health problem will progress without your knowledge. Your dentist should be able to identify any problems with your teeth and gums, so you can begin treating them. The most common problems are cavities and periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Both of these problems can progress if they are allowed to, and both of them are treatable if caught early enough. In the case of cavities, the cavities must be drilled out with a tiny, precise drill and then filled with a plaster like material. Nowadays, this material is usually white, but in the past the plaster was silver. White is used because it is more cosmetically pleasing, as it looks exactly like a tooth. The other condition that your family dentist is probably always warning you about is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and other tissues, and it can get pretty severe if it is allowed to progress. Perhaps even more than cavities, periodontal disease is the biggest reason why you need to go to the dentist regularly. Periodontal disease is very common, and if you only have the initial stages of it, it can be reversed fairly easily. On the other hand, if periodontal disease is allowed to progress, it can have pretty extreme consequences. That is why it is best to go to your dentist as soon as possible and change your oral hygiene regimen if you notice any symptoms of periodontal disease. One of the biggest yet, unfortunately, often ignored symptoms of periodontal disease is bleeding from the gums, during brushing and flossing. Though a frighteningly large portion of the population may choose to ignore this symptom, it is a distinct indicator that you may be suffering from periodontal disease. In the most extreme cases, periodontal disease can result in the loss of teeth, in which case, dental implants will need to be used. Dental implants act as roots, and they allow artificial teeth to be attached.