It’s pretty safe to say that for most of us, visiting the dentist is not at the top of our list of priorities. We worry that we are going to need some form of treatment, which might be painful and will almost certainly incur some expense. In fact, around one in three U.S. citizens purposefully delay dental treatment because of their financial situation. However, putting off dental treatment can have a number of serious consequences – both financial and practical.

Routine dental care is vitally important. This is because routine examinations by your dentist are much more thorough than anything that you can do at home, and your dentist may be able to spot signs of potential oral health problems, even before any symptoms may become apparent. By catching these early, it is possible to begin rectification or treatment and stop the problems from becoming any worse and avoid bigger, more expensive dental issues in the future. This is because the majority of dental problems will not heal or fix themselves, and actual treatment is necessary to stop the condition of the mouth, teeth or gums from deteriorating any further.

Common problems that arise from delayed treatment can include:

  • Additional treatment in the form of fillings, crowns, bridges, root canal and even dental implants and their associated costs.

  • Pain in the tooth, mouth, jaw, neck or head.

  • Gaps or loosening of the teeth.

  • Need for extraction.

  • Gum disease leading to periodontitis.

  • An abscess.

  • A build-up of nasty bacteria that causes inflammation and infection, which can quickly spread into other parts of your body.

  • Other non-oral health problems, including a condition known as Ludwig’s Angina, during which an abscess grows so large that it can block the airway and cause respiratory problems.

Failing to address dental issues can also have an impact upon your wider health and wellbeing. There have been a number of studies that have shown links between conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular and your oral health. By taking care of one, you can help to take care of the other and ensure that you are as fit and healthy as you possible can be, so that you can get the most out of life.