The Picture of Neglect
Some dentists say that they’ve observed that the most negligent group when it comes to oral health is that set of people in their twenties. These young adults call themselves health-conscious, mind you, and are very much aware about healthy foods, healthy lifestyles and practices. They have the discipline to work out at the gym, attend yoga classes, and engage in sports. However, if you ask them about the state of their teeth and gums, they’d say they’re fine, nothing is painful and their teeth and gums look good.
Putting their energy, resources and their time into the pursuit of their general health, they tend to forget their mouth. If ever they see their dentist, who will tell them about a bad bite, a small cavity, a little puffiness in the gums, these people will likely shrug off the advice, not feeling anything wrong. After all, regular dental visits are not exactly at the top of their list.
Down the road at some time, a compromised tooth will become painful or sensitive, or their gums start to bleed, then only then will they seek dental care. The fix by this time may require more extensive repair or replacement. It doesn’t take long for significant damage to be done. In as little as a year and a half, neglect can create a torrent of issues. Some will be difficult if not impossible to fix.
Many patients in their 50s will have unsalvageable teeth which could have been saved if they were helped by their dentists 30 years earlier. Basically, if you don’t see your dentist for two years, you’re already compromising your health. If you skip visits for five years, you’re going to see some bone loss. Ten years without professional dental care and you’re almost certain to have severe bone loss.
Bone loss is asymptomatic, people just don’t feel it happening. Bones become less dense and more fragile as one gets older, becoming prone to breakage. Unfortunately, harmful bacteria in the mouth hasten the process of disintegration in the bone supporting the teeth. Teeth can loosen in their sockets and fall out and nothing can be done at this point to stimulate bone growth. Bone loss can be prevented with good habits that diminish bacterial growth in the mouth so that teeth are preserved longer.
Being mortals, we are designed to age and die. Our teeth and gums will eventually give way, but we can slow it down by paying attention to our oral health.
Caring About Oral Health in Bellingham
If you are concerned about your overall health, certainly your oral health is part and parcel of your well-being. Keep your regular visits with us and preserve your dental health for the longest time possible.