Maintaining your oral health requires strong daily hygiene practices and visiting your dentist at least once every six months for regular check-ups. It may seem like a lot, but visiting twice a year makes it more likely that the signs of tooth decay, gum disease, infection, and oral cancer are spotted early when they are still easily treatable. Once you’re aware that there is a problem, you should do whatever you can to not postpone dental treatment.
Why You Should Not Postpone Dental Treatment?
Infection and decay will not remain static. The problem will continue to spread as you put off treatment, and this can result in poor outcomes for you. Generally speaking, postponing dental treatment has three primary negative effects:
- The Damage Becomes More Severe
- The Treatment Becomes More Costly
- Recovery Is Lengthier and More Unpleasant
For all of these reasons, it is better to have your oral condition treated as soon as it is identified, but just listing them doesn’t really drive home the importance of timely treatment. To get a better understanding of how oral health issues progress and how it may negatively affect you, let’s look at each category of concern.
The Damage Becomes More Severe
Oral health issues don’t resolve by themselves. If you have a cavity or are showing the early signs of gum disease, then they will get worse. You may not feel or notice anything right now, but that’s because your dentist caught it early. Without treatment the condition will spread.
In the case of tooth decay, the cavity will become deeper until it has worked through the enamel and into the dentin. Once through the center of the tooth, the nerve itself will become infected. This can be incredibly painful, and there is a risk that the infection will travel through the bloodstream.
In the case of gum disease, no amount of brushing will clear up the infection. You’re going to need professional treatment to remove the bacterial infection from below the gumline, and you may also need to complete a course of antibiotics. Without treatment your condition will advance into full-blown periodontal disease. The gums will eventually recede, which is permanent and undermines the structure supporting the tooth.
The Treatment Becomes More Costly
The cost of treatment is a common concern, but putting it off will likely only increase those costs. To put it simply, putting off treatment means you’re giving your condition the opportunity to fester. In many cases the damage will spread if given time, and that means your LA Wilshire Periodontist has to do more to save the damaged structures.
For example, your periodontist can combat the early stages of gum disease with relative ease. They will typically do a deep cleaning with dental scaling and root planing below the gums when it is required. Then they can typically apply an antibiotic gel to kill the bacteria causing the inflammation. Once the treatment is complete, your gums will be back to their healthy pink appearance.
However, if you put off treatment, then the infection is likely to get much worse. It could spread or cause your gums to recede far enough to put your teeth at risk. Surgery is often required to treat advanced periodontitis. Segments of tissue and bone may have to be removed and replaced just to save your jaw. Even then, you will likely end up with a dental bridge or partial denture. This treatment is much more extensive and requires personalized prosthetics, making it significantly more costly.
Recovery Is Lengthier and More Unpleasant
As you can probably imagine, recovering from surgery that may include tissue grafts is much more intense than recovering from a deep cleaning or a filling. In truth, it is always better to have your oral health issues treated as soon as possible to avoid physical and financial hardship.