The Dangers of Skipping Dental Visits

Everyone knows someone who loved to skip classes or not complete homework in school. After all, ultimate frisbee sounds a lot more fun than organic chemistry class. The only problem, of course, is that when test time came around these students often found themselves in trouble.

In the same way, it’s easy to get in the habit of skipping dental visits. Life can get busy, or maybe you want to save a little extra money, or perhaps going to the dentist sounds about as fun as organic chemistry.

Whatever your reasoning, you should know that skipping dental visits increases the risks of several oral health and even overall health problems. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of regular dental visits, as well as the dangers of skipping those visits.


How often should I go to the dentist?

One of the most common questions we receive is this, “How often should I go to the dentist?” The ADA recommends regular dental visits, and the exact timing can change from person to person.

For most people, visiting the dentist every 6 months is about right. Some people, however, are more prone to things like gum disease and tooth decay. If that’s you, then you might need to see the dentist more often. If any of the following apply, then you might be a high-risk patient and should talk to your dentist to determine if more frequent visits are required:

  • If you’re a smoker
  • If you have diabetes
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you have gum disease
  • If you have a history with cavities

What is the purpose of regular dental visits?

Two main things will happen at a regular dental visit. We will give your teeth a professional cleaning and we will perform a dental examination to inspect the health of your teeth, gums, and other surrounding areas. We want to prevent minor issues from becoming major issues, and recognizing them early is an important aspect of this.

The cleaning involves several things:

  • Removing any plaque and tartar, which can build up and cause gum disease or decay without a professional cleaning
  • Polishing and removing stains from your teeth
  • Flossing between your teeth
  • Giving advice about brushing and flossing – you might be missing a spot on a regular basis and we can help correct this

Giving your teeth a deep clean is important to their ongoing health. While you may brush and floss every day, it is still important to give them a deep clean. It’s similar to your house; while you may do regular chores on a daily or weekly basis, it’s still important every few months to do that deep clean and ensure nothing is falling apart.

Skipping a dental visit doesn’t allow for that necessary deep clean, which could allow oral health problems to fester and grow.

With dental examinations, our goal is to identify any future problems and prevent them, rather than wait until a major procedure is required. This is why it can be so dangerous to skip your regular dental visits — a problem in your mouth may be growing, and without a check-up, you won’t know until it is too late for an easy fix.

Here are a few things we look for during your check-ups:

Gum Disease

Most people don’t even realize they have gum disease, which is why we check for it. Gum disease can cause major problems for your mouth, including loose teeth and even lost teeth. Not only that, but studies have shown that people with gum disease are more likely to have heart disease! Recognizing it early and treating it before it escalates is too important; it just isn’t worth skipping dental visits.

Oral Cancer

Dentists will generally check for oral cancer each time you attend your regular dental visit. Oral cancer is one of the most common types of cancers, and treating it early makes it much easier to overcome. Many times oral cancer will be asymptomatic for a long time, and your dentist may be the first to recognize it.

Diabetes

Like heart health and gum health, there is a link between oral health and diabetes. There are many cases where people didn’t even know they were diabetic, until their dentist recognized the signs. As you can see, not only are regular dental visits important for your oral health, they’re important for your overall health, as well.

Tooth Decay

Many people wait until their teeth are hurting before they visit the dentist, and then it’s too late for easy treatments. Your dentist can inspect and identify any areas of decay. Treating those areas and coaching you on your habits can prevent cavities from forming entirely, which is a much better solution than having to actually treat a large and painful cavity.

Looking for a good place to make your next dental visit?

As you can see, it’s very important to attend your regular dental visit. If you don’t have a dentist, however, this can prove difficult.

If you’re in the Albany, Georgia area, then we have a great solution for you! Longleaf Dental is a great place to start. With an experienced and caring staff, we take the stress out of your dental visits.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and remember…your health is too important to skip your next visit!


Sources:
How often should you go to the dentist?
The importance of regular dental visits
4 Reasons skipping the dentist is bad for you