The American Dental Association and most dentists agree that twice-yearly checkups and teeth cleanings are the best course for a healthy smile. But “healthy smile” is too broad for what’s at risk. Proper dental care with your dentist in Rockville, MD, can also help prevent systemic health complications.
If you have not been to the dentist in years, let’s look at the potential risks.
Dangers of Not Going to the Dentist
#1 Tooth Decay
When you think of a dental cavity, you might imagine a small hole in your tooth or a dark spot. But without treatment, tooth decay spreads, compromises your tooth, and even leads to its loss. You can lose the tooth due to crumbling or an infection that requires emergency dentistry in Rockville, MD.
#2 Oral Infection
The most common oral infections occur in the tooth canal. This can be excruciating without treatment. And, like untreated tooth decay, it can lead to tooth loss or infection spread. A root canal is the only way to eliminate the pain and save the tooth.
#3 Gum Disease
Gum disease is inflammation and infections in the mouth, particularly the periodontal ligaments and bones that keep your teeth in place. With regular dental care, periodontal disease is mostly preventable. On the other hand, allowing gum disease to fester can mean systemic health complications.
#4 Systemic Health
Studies and evidence link gum disease to more than just tooth loss. Today, it is associated with many health issues, including but not limited to:
- Low birth weight in newborns
- Heart and lung complications
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Alzheimer’s disease
#5 Advanced Oral Cancer
When you visit your dentist every six months, you’re also getting an oral cancer screening. Because this happens twice yearly, it means catching oral cancer in the early stages, which typically means a better prognosis.
Returning after Many Years of Not Going to the Dentist
We know the prospect of returning to the dentist can seem daunting. Maybe you have a dental phobia or are embarrassed by the state of your teeth. Our compassionate and understanding team knows all about these things, and their only goal is to help you reclaim your oral health gently.
So, if you haven’t been to the dentist in five years, or if it’s been decades since your last dental appointment, don’t hesitate to reach out to a team member to get started.