The Dangers of Avoiding Your Dentist
The dentist may not be as scary as skydiving or spiders, but as many as 9%-15% of people living in the United States are afraid of the dentist and actively avoid going.
That’s a whopping 30 million people walking around with mouths full of gum disease, cavities, tartar and plaque buildup. Avoiding the dentist is no small thing, and can have both short-term and long-term effects.
Here are just a few of them!
Despite a strict regimen of brushing twice daily, some plaque and tartar cannot be brushed away and requires a dentist for proper removal. If not properly taken care of, this can lead to chronic bad breath. Maybe this isn’t the most serious consequence of missing your dental appointments, but it is pretty gross. You could also experience staining of the enamel on your teeth. This can happen from certain food and drinks like coffee, red wine or even from smoking.
A teeth cleaning is the most basic procedure you can get at the dentist, which helps to remove all the gunk that’s been building up on your teeth and leaves you with those pearly whites.
By going to the dentist for routine check-ups, you’ll be more in tune with your health and the potential for developing a number of oral diseases and issues is drastically reduced.
Your dentist can help prevent or treat any disease that may arise, keeping you as healthy as possible. Gum disease is a widespread problem affecting many people and does not happen overnight. It develops through long term neglect of your teeth and gums. Cavities, tooth decay and eventually tooth loss will also develop through long term neglect, and once you lose a tooth, there’s no growing one back.
Which leads to our next point. You can only avoid the dentist for so long before you’re forced to make an appointment due to serious oral health issues.
If you wait until you get to that point, you’ll be looking at some pretty painful and pricey dental procedures to help correct the damage you inflicted on yourself.
Filling a cavity is 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 a year, they will be able to catch any problems in the early stages and help you come up with a treatment plan. 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.
More importantly, however, your oral health is instrumental to your overall health and wellbeing. Untreated oral diseases can lead to many other issues such as plaque buildup in other parts of your body, diabetes, dementia, respiratory issues and cancer, to name a few. No matter how scared you may be to go to the dentist, it is important that you find a way to conquer that fear and actively take care of your health.
If you’re looking for ways to overcome your fear of the dentist, check out our next blog post for tips and tricks.