There’s a reason why your dentist in Lakeland encourages you to visit every six months. What happens if you wait longer than six months, or don’t go to the dentist at all? The truth is, missing just one dental appointment can lead to multiple problems. Here are a few things that can happen if you don’t visit the dentist twice a year.
The most obvious and most common result of not visiting the dentist regularly is cavities.
Without regular visits, our teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay, which is caused by bacteria eating away at our enamel. Left unchecked, cavities can lead to serious problems like painful abscesses. Cavities are preventable through regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings. Even if a cavity develops, treatment is quick and easy if caught early.
A more serious side effect of avoiding dental appointments is gum disease. Gum disease is caused by bacteria in plaque, which forms when food particles collect between teeth and along gum lines. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to serious oral health problems and even some other illnesses. In fact, gum disease increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. When caught early, gum disease can be treated before it can cause serious problems. However, when it’s left to progress, it eventually reaches a point where it’s irreversible.
According to a 2013 survey, nearly one in four American adults have lost all of their teeth, while a third of Americans aged 30-64 have no natural teeth left at all. Early tooth loss is often due to a lack of dental care, and other studies have found that just one missed dental appointment can significantly increase your risk for gum disease or tooth loss. Tooth loss can affect both your oral health and overall health. Missing teeth make it hard to eat a balanced diet and can take a toll on your self-confidence. But there is some good news. Teeth can often be replaced with dental implants, dentures, or a dental bridge.
So How Often Do You Really Need to See the Dentist?
Usually, the recommended maximum amount of time between dental appointments is six months. However, your dentist in Lakeland may recommend that certain people visit more often, including those who are at higher risk of developing dental problems such as:
- Pregnant women
- Those with gum disease
Why People Avoid The Dentist
There are a number of reasons why some people avoid going to the dentist. People may not like the sights and sounds of a dental office, or they may be embarrassed about having to talk about their oral health and hygiene issues in front of others. Fear and anxiety over what the dentist might find can also cause people to put off their dental checkups for months at a time, which could lead to serious problems down the road. If you’re nervous about your dental checkups, make sure you talk with your dentist in Lakeland so they can help find ways to help you relax during your visits.