If you’re afraid or discomforted by going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Studies find over 60 percent of people suffer from dental-related dread. Even worse, a third of the U.S population put off going to the dentist because of this fear.
Dental visits have dropped off considerably, likely a combination of an already inherent fear of the dentist alongside COVID-19 protocols and concerns. Many see a visit, such as a non-time-sensitive procedure, or other general checkups, as unnecessary, especially in the current climate.
Though this isolation from people, and in turn, the dentist, has allowed many dental problems to snowball to some frightening extremes, cavities, gum disease, and tooth grinding habits have been left unchecked, turning a once-a-season checkup into a slew of connected visits.
If you aren’t visiting your dentist for a cleaning or oral exam every 6 months, you’re not meeting the dental recommendations.
Chances are that a coming and going toothache is a sign of an underlying problem. Tooth decay, abscesses, damaged fillings, infected gums, and bad habits are all possible roots of your tooth troubles.
Lack of dental care isn’t a problem relegated to your mouth. Research indicates that bad dental health can contribute to diabetes, heart disease, and types of cancers, with some serious tooth infections even leading to death. Simply put, dental hygiene is no joke, with even one of the greatest Egyptian Pharaohs, Amenhotep III, being a casualty of a lack of dental hygiene. There’s some good news there. Even though you aren’t a pharaoh, you have access to a dentist, something they never had.
Frequent visits can result in benefits beyond those that typically come to mind. Dental visits can help identify early cases of oral cancer, reduce chances of heart disease, show underlying problems through x-rays, and diminish cases of inflammation.
If you don’t like dental visits, want to avoid going as much as possible, etc, your best bet to stay out of the office may be to go to your regular dental appointment. While that may seem like a true contradiction, imagine the follow-up procedures, time, and money for a severe dental problem. Early treatment is also less painful and less expensive, saving the pain in your wallet as well as in your teeth.
While you may have some fear, overcoming that and scheduling your necessary dental appointment is well worth overcoming. Like with most things, exercise, eating right, and getting good sleep, the beginning of regular dental checkups and cleanings can be difficult, but the rewards are truly remarkable. Make the right step for your health and schedule a dental appointment today.