You’ve always heard as a kid how important it was to visit the dentist regularly. As we get older and our schedules get busier, it’s tempting to just skip those bi-annual dental checkups. But skipping these appointments can have disastrous consequences for your oral health. Dr. Mark Sowell, a dentist in Plano, TX, explains the detrimental impacts.
Bacteria Buildup And Bad Breath
All of our mouths are filled with bacteria, no matter how well we take care of them. When bacteria mix with food particles and things in our mouth, they form plaque. Plaque stays on your teeth and eats away at your tooth enamel, and needs to be removed regularly. While a toothbrush can get a lot of it, specialized dental tools get into areas your toothbrush can’t reach.
As plaque builds up and is left over time, it hardens on the surface of your teeth and becomes tartar. Once tartar is formed, it can’t be removed by traditional brushing and flossing. Only a dentist can properly remove tartar. Not only does tartar compromise teeth health, but it also irritates and impacts the gum tissue, too.
The more bacteria in your mouth, the more likely you are to have bad breath. Bacteria build up on your tongue and in your throat. Poor oral hygiene ensures that it’s even worse. Even just plaque buildup can provide an ideal breeding ground for bad, odor-causing bacteria.
Increased Risk Of Tooth Decay And Gum Disease
The more plaque and tartar buildup you have, the more likely you are to develop tooth decay and gum disease. Bacteria eat away at the enamel on your teeth, causing cavities. If left alone long enough, the infection can spread to the interior pulp of your tooth. Tooth decay starts out really small, so it’s hard to notice on your own before it’s become more severe.
When plaque is built up at the gum line, it begins to cause inflammation to the gum tissue. This is what leads to gum disease. The inflammation continues to get worse and the bacterial infection can reach down into the jawbone. If left untreated, this can lead to tooth loss and severe damage to your mouth.
Missing The Signs Of Oral Cancer
One of the most important things that happen at your bi-annual dental checkup is an oral cancer check. Typically, oral cancer starts as a small deformity that you may brush over unnoticed. It can occur in the tongue, lips, cheek, or palate of the mouth.
Dentists are trained to recognize the early signs of oral cancer. And if you’re visiting the dentist regularly, it’s easier for them to notice abnormalities between visits. Like all cancers, oral cancer is more treatable when it’s caught early on. Regular dental visits are the best way to keep on top of this.
More Invasive Treatments For Oral Health
All things considered, an exam and cleaning every six months isn’t a huge deal. But if you’re skipping these appointments, you’re more likely to develop more severe oral health problems. More severe problems mean they’re going to require more intensive treatments. These cost more, require more time in the chair, and may require multiple stages to get you back to optimal oral health.
Schedule A Checkup With Your Plano, Texas Dentist
Don’t skip those bi-annual dental visits. Schedule an appointment online today or call our office to get seen!