It can be tempting to put off going to the dentist. It’s not convenient to take time out from your busy schedule to make an appointment. No one enjoys the experience of having sharp instruments and drills inserted into their mouths. Then there’s the issue of paying the bill. Yet, there are many unpleasant consequences that can result if you don’t go to the dentist regularly. Visiting the dentist may not be your favorite activity, but it’s an essential part of maintaining your health. In the long run, you’ll find it’s less painful to have your teeth examined on a regular basis.
What Can Happen in You Avoid the Dentist
Today’s dentists use the latest technology and can perform even the most complex procedures without causing you much discomfort. This is especially true if you go to the dentist on a regular basis. On the other hand, if you postpone your visit to the dentist for too long, there can be quite a few negative consequences. Here are the seven worst outcomes that are likely to occur if you postpone your visits too long.
1. You Can Lose Your Teeth
Losing your teeth is one of the most serious consequences of avoiding the dentist. Almost all problems affecting the teeth and gums are treatable -if they are addressed in a timely manner. However, if you ignore warning signs and don’t get regular checkups, you can lose your teeth. This can occur due to advanced periodontal disease or from tooth decay that goes untreated for too long. This will result in having embarrassing gaps in your mouth. Then the only option is to get costly dentures, which will mean having to go to the dentist anyway!
2. Painful Toothaches
Cavities and other dental problems become painful if they remain untreated. Sometimes people ignore problems like pain when chewing or sensitivity to hot or cold foods because the pain isn’t severe. If you don’t address the cause, however, the pain is likely to get worse over time. You can self-medicate using aspirin or stronger pain killers, but this does not address the real issue. Do you really want to walk around with a chronic toothache? It’s much better to go to the dentist at the first sign of discomfort and get the problem taken care of.
3. Gum Disease
Periodontal or gum disease is a widespread problem that can have many harmful effects on your health. This is not something that occurs overnight, but usually results from long term neglect of the teeth and gums. If you have painful gums or gums that bleed easily, these are symptoms of periodontal disease. If neglected, this can lead to painful inflammations and even losing your teeth. There is also research that shows that people with gum disease are more likely to suffer from heart disease and other health problems.
4. Painful and Costly Dental Procedures in the Future
People who avoid the dentist can only do so for so long. When you start getting severe toothaches, you will then be motivated to finally make an appointment, and by that time, you might need emergency dental care. The longer you wait, though, the more likely it is that you’ll have to undergo painful and expensive treatments. For example, filling a cavity is usually a fast, simple and relatively inexpensive procedure. But if you wait until you need a root canal, you will have to make multiple visits and undergo a long and painful process. If you go to the dentist at least once per year, he or she will usually be able to catch any problems in the early stages. This makes your visits fairly simple and pain free. Avoiding the dentist, however, ends up bringing about the things you fear the most -pain and large bills.
5. Increased Risk of Developing Many Diseases
There is increasing evidence linking gum disease and tooth decay with other health problems, such as heart disease. Plaque that occurs in the gums can eventually spread to other areas of the body. That’s another reason why it’s important to keep the mouth clean and free of plaque and bacteria. There are also links between gum and dental problems and other serious diseases, including diabetes, dementia, respiratory problems and certain types of cancer. While health experts are still researching these issues to determine the exact cause of these links, it seems prudent to look at the evidence and take good care of your teeth and gums if you want to preserve your overall health.
6. Your Teeth Get Stained
One of the most basic procedures performed by dentists is cleaning your teeth. This not only makes them look better, but it protects your teeth and gums from disease. Many things can cause your teeth to get stained. This includes smoking, eating certain foods and even drinking coffee. Regular cleanings remove stains and debris. While you hopefully brush and floss regularly, a professional cleaning is much more thorough. Most dentists recommend getting a cleaning at least once per year. However, if you have a problem such as periodontal disease, you may need to get them cleaned several times per year.
7. You May Develop Bad Breath
Even if you aren’t concerned about your long term health, you probably don’t want people to avoid you because you have bad breath. While there can be many causes of bad breath or halitosis, dental problems are one of the main reasons for this. Tooth decay and gum disease will contribute to giving your breath an unpleasant odor. Of course, part of having fresh breath is maintaining good oral hygiene on a daily basis. It also helps to avoid tobacco and foods that have strong odors, such as garlic and onions. However, no matter what you eat or how much mouthwash you use, if you avoid the dentist you are likely to develop bad breath due to untreated problems in your mouth.