A trip to the dentist may not be the first thing on your list when you think of how you want to spend your free time. It may not even make your list at all. After all, there are more important things to worry about than teeth, right?
Not so fast.
Before you brush off the importance of regular dental checkups, you might want to understand the negative impact of ignoring your oral hygiene.
Here are just a few things that dental professionals warn can happen when you neglect your teeth.
Tooth decay and gum disease
Most everyone is aware that neglecting to brush your teeth leads to tooth decay and cavities. But what you might not realize is that more than 500 bacterial species can be found in the plaque on your teeth, according to the American Dental Association. Although not all of this bacteria is bad, when you combine it with food debris, water and other things that enter the mouth, this plaque builds up on your teeth and gums and can lead to disease.
Gum disease has no cure, so deep cleaning multiple times a year is required to maintain your health. If you think visiting the dentist every six months is a lot, try doubling that once you’ve been diagnosed with periodontal disease.
Poor oral hygiene can be just as mentally and emotionally harmful as it is physical. A recent survey conducted by the ADA found that one in three young adults between the ages of 18 to 34 are reluctant to smile because of the condition of their teeth.
Many in this same age group find their dental problems hinder their social and professional lives, as not smiling tends to negatively impact their ability to make friends or interview for jobs.
Serious health risks
There’s much more to dental care than a beautiful smile or healthy gums. In fact, there’s a relationship between your oral health and your overall wellness, according to WebMD.
Gum disease is linked to far more serious issues, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease, arthritis and osteoporosis. Since the mouth contains hundreds of bacteria, diseased gums open a portal to the bloodstream, which increases the risk of infection, inflammation and illness.
Don’t ignore the small things
One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to their teeth is to ignore small problems. If you feel any amount of pain or swelling in your mouth, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, the professionals at Stubbs Dental suggest.
What starts as a small cavity can spread to the tooth’s root and result in a root canal or even total tooth loss. Gum infections and gum disease are also left to continue all too often, with devastating results.
If you suspect something is wrong with your teeth or gums, or if it’s been a while since your last cleaning, don’t wait – schedule an appointment with Stubbs Dental today.
Take your oral hygiene knowledge and put it to the test. Take our quiz to see how much you know about taking care of your teeth!