Consequences of Ignoring Regular Teeth Cleanings

Regular teeth cleanings, which should happen every six months, or as recommended by your dentist, are a preventative measure to help stop oral disease before it starts and keep your smile looking bright. However, teeth cleanings go beyond removing surface stains and ensuring your smile is healthy. Here are the risks you take when you skip those regular teeth cleanings with your dentist!

Plaque Buildup Can Increase Your Risk for Gum Disease

Although brushing and flossing helps remove most of the plaque in your oral cavity, there are spaces where plaque can accumulate, namely in the deep grooves of molars and beneath the gumline from improper flossing. Plaque buildup of this nature can increase your risk for gum disease when the plaque isn’t regularly removed. Ignoring your regular teeth cleanings may increase your risk for gum disease, which can start mild and progress to a severe condition that can compromise your smile [1].

Cavities Can Progress Unchecked

Missing your regular teeth cleanings also allows developing cavities to worsen. Cavities always start out small and won’t cause noticeable symptoms for most people. However, as cavities progress, they can eat through the layers of your teeth to reach the pulp of your tooth.

Once the decay has reached this point, you will need root canal therapy or a tooth extraction to fix the problem. Regular dental visits allow your dentist to check for cavities before they even get close to this stage, not to mention help prevent cavities in the first place!

Miss Your Oral Cancer Screening

While you’re at the dentist for your teeth cleaning, your dentist will conduct an oral cancer screening. Oral cancers include cancers of the lips, tongue, and the roof of your mouth [2]. Oral cancer screenings should happen annually, even if you don’t smoke or chew tobacco. Your dentist will conduct a simple screening, feeling your face, jaw, and neck for any abnormalities and asking you a few questions. Missing this screening means missing the chance to identify oral cancer before it progresses.

Spend More on Dental Care and Emergency Visits

People who skip their regular dental visits tend to spend more overall on dental care and emergency dental visits [3]. When preventable problems—or oral health problems that could have been addressed much earlier—are allowed to develop, you’ll end up paying more later to fix the issue and restore your smile. Emergency visits, whether to the dentist or to your local emergency room, are also costly. Preventative dental care is always more affordable than restorative dentistry!

When Was the Last Time You Saw Your Dentist?

Have you seen your dentist anytime in the last six months? If not, it’s time to schedule your regular checkup and cleaning. You’ll help prevent many common oral health problems and potentially even save your life by taking care of your smile!

Sources:
1. https://dental.washington.edu/uw-researchers-reveal-new-aspects-of-gum-disease-
and-bodys-protective-response/
2. https://www.cancer.gov/types/head-and-neck/patient/oral-screening-pdq
3. https://dentistry.uic.edu/news-stories/the-many-costs-financial-and-well-being-of-
poor-oral-health/

Summary
Consequences of Ignoring Regular Teeth Cleanings
Article Name
Consequences of Ignoring Regular Teeth Cleanings
Description
Teeth cleanings go beyond removing surface stains and ensuring your smile is healthy. Here are the risks you take when you skip those regular teeth cleanings with your dentist!
Author
Potomac Family Dentistry
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Dr. Ahmed Uthman
Dr. Uthman also began practicing general dentistry in 1997, and went on to gain advanced training in orthodontics in 2006. He is dedicated to his patients, and strives to provide treatments that address the underlying issues that cause most cosmetic conditions. He has a great amount of compassion for his patients, and believes that having a long lasting doctor/patient relationship helps to increase the quality and effectiveness of care. Due to his commitment to a high standard of care and additional training, Dr. Uthman is also recognized as an Invisalign Preferred Provider. Dr. Uthman spends much of his free time with his wife and daughters. He enjoys watching soccer matches, playing tennis, and has recently taken up golf as well. Dr. Uthman is trilingual, speaking Kurdish, Arabic, and English.