I’m postponing dental treatment because it’s not bothering me

People may put off going to Dallas Fort Worth dentists for a number of reasons, such as fear or concern about costs of treatment. That’s a bad idea. Going to the dentist regularly is just as important for your health as your annual physical exam with the doctor.

Several conditions that may not cause any symptoms at first, such as impacted wisdom teeth or cavities, can lead to serious consequences later if left untreated. That’s why it’s so important to see a dentist at six-month intervals to address minor problems before they become major issues.

Routine exams give your dentist an opportunity to identify any concerns while they are in their earliest, most treatable stages. It’s much easier, cheaper and quicker to place a filling in a small cavity rather than give a patient a crown after a tooth has decayed extensively.

Similarly, patients may not have any problems or even realize that they have impacted wisdom teeth. At any time, though, those teeth can develop cysts or abscesses or knock the other teeth out of alignment as they continue to attempt to erupt. Wisdom tooth extraction is recommended for most patients before age 25.

Gum disease is another oral health issue that needs to be addressed early. The same bacteria that cause cavities can also attack the gums, causing symptoms like redness, bleeding and swelling. Eventually, the gums will begin to recede, and that bacteria can turn on the underlying jaw bone, too, raising the possibility of tooth loss.

In its earliest stages, gum disease can be stopped in its tracks with a thorough professional cleaning. Yet, if it progresses, it will require specialized treatment by a periodontist, and the patient may ultimately need surgery.

Oral health concerns can also have an impact elsewhere in the body. Infection can spread from an abscess and eventually become systemic. Inflammation associated with gum disease has been linked with chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes, along with problems in pregnancy.

Taking care of your oral health, which means seeking dental treatment in a timely fashion, is essential. If it has been more than six months since you’ve been to the dentist, contact one of our top dentists serving DFW soon to schedule an exam and cleaning.