Updated April 10, 2022
People have been concerned about going out in public, and for a good reason. COVID-19 wreaked havoc on our health and well-being and continues to do so. No wonder many people have been willing to skip dental checkups.
To help assuage concerns, our dental practice has taken significant measures when it comes to sanitizing and providing a safe environment for your biannual checkups. In fact, we installed three medical-grade air purifiers from Surgically Clean Air. Because, when it comes to your health, skipping dental checkups can be dangerous.
The problems that arise run the gambit. From oral health to overall bodily health, you may not know the full extent of what you might experience if you miss your biannual appointments.
What Happens When You Skip Dental Checkups
What probably first comes to mind if you haven’t had a professional cleaning are cavities. A cavity is a permanently damaged area of your tooth resulting from bacteria eating through your tooth’s protective outer layers. It begins as a small hole. However, if left untreated, it will continue to progress into a much larger cavity, which presents a more challenging treatment.
Abscesses and Infections
A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus that’s caused by a bacterial infection. The longer one goes without dental checkups, the longer any abscesses or cuts can spread. Some abscesses are not readily noticed and are only detected via x-ray, which any dental office will have. Infections can lead to pain, discomfort, and additional oral health concerns that require further treatment. Left untreated, you might even develop sepsis — a life-threatening disease that spreads throughout your body.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Untreated, tooth decay can lead to periodontal disease. Your gums are designed as protection around the base of your teeth. When your gums are not healthy, bacteria settle underneath.
Gum disease may present itself as swollen or bleeding gums. This process is your body’s natural response to ridding itself of the bacteria. If left untreated, advanced gum disease, periodontitis, may require oral surgery, bone grafting, or guided tissue regeneration.
Drinking coffee, tea, and wine, or smoking cigarettes can stain teeth and create an unattractive smile. Professional teeth cleanings help remove stains. However, dark discolorations may require cosmetic dentistry procedures to remove discoloring and whiten teeth.
Risk of Disease and Illness in the Body
Studies and research have linked oral health to general health. Patients who neglect proper care of their mouths by skipping dental checkups risk getting tooth and gum disease and risk poor health in other parts of their body. Some significant conditions related to oral health include heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and breast cancer.
Have you skipped dental checkups due to Covid? (Or perhaps you have dentophobia, a common fear of dentists and dental procedures?) We hope you now understand the importance of adhering to regular appointments.
At Asheville Dental, our practice takes extra precautions to ensure a clean office. We provide a welcoming environment where everyone is welcome. We even offer a free consultation. Should you have questions about our pandemic protocols or dental services, please call us or contact us online.
Take care, and be well.