Many people visit the general dentist only when they have a dental problem. However, dental professionals have established that regular oral hygiene and dental checkups are at the center of preventative dentistry. Continue reading to learn about the consequences of skipping dental checkups.
The side effects of skipping dental appointments
Before removing dental checkups from the calendar, consider the potential situations that may happen due to that decision.
Plaque and tartar accumulation
Even with regular cleaning, the mouth is full of bacteria. These bacteria combine with food debris to create plaque. Plaque is acidic and can break down tooth enamel, which is why it needs to be cleaned off. If plaque is not removed, it will harden into tartar, which cannot be removed with a regular toothbrush. Tartar causes gum disease and bad breath and can only be cleaned off by a dentist (during a checkup) after it forms.
Higher risk of cavities
Tooth decay occurs due to the presence of plaque on the teeth. Once the tooth starts decaying, it will continue to deteriorate until the cavity reaches the tooth pulp or nerves. Cavities are hardly noticeable in their early stages, so patients will probably not know that they have any. The dentist will examine the teeth carefully during a dental appointment to detect cavities. They will immediately recommend filling them to save their patients from pain and inconvenience.
Risk of gum disease
Gum disease is a bacterial infection caused by plaque accumulation. If the disease is not treated promptly, it can spread to the bone and other supporting structures of the teeth. Gum disease occurs in three stages: gingivitis and gum inflammation; periodontitis, which is when the infection starts to damage the bone and gum, and advanced periodontitis, in which the infection has spread to the point that the teeth are loose and need to be extracted. Keeping regular appointments with the dentist can help catch gum disease in its early stages.
A high risk of tooth loss
Most people believe that the risk of tooth loss increases with age, but this does not have to be the case. Adult teeth can last a lifetime with adequate oral care. It is possible to prevent tooth loss by preventing the oral conditions that tend to be responsible, which in this case, are tooth decay and gum disease. Keeping regular appointments will help ensure that the teeth last a lifetime.
It is easy to miss the signs of oral cancer
Oral cancer can affect any of the structures that make up the oral cavity, including the cheek, tongue, lip, throat, palates, and sinuses. The general dentist will usually perform an oral cancer screening during the checkup to ensure early detection and treatment of the condition.
Stay on track with dental appointments
It would be best if you did not only visit the dentist's office when you have a dental emergency or need a restorative procedure. Considering that oral issues tend to start and progress quickly, routine dental checkups with the general dentist are the most ideal way to ensure early diagnosis.
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