There are a lot of people who put off going to the dentist.  They may still practice good oral care like twice-daily brushing and flossing, but somehow never make it into the dentist for a regular check-up.  While it is very important to have good oral hygiene habits, a person should see a dentist at least once a year, if not two.  During a regular dentist appointment, a person will get a check-up that scans the mouth for any issues, professional teeth cleaning, and maybe an x-ray for further diagnostic purposes.  Without an annual visit to the dentist, little issues that could be detected early and dealt with can grow into serious oral problems that can affect your overall health.  Read below for our list of unpleasant symptoms that may develop if you never see a dentist. 

Tartar Buildup

First off, if you skip dentist visits you can have plaque build-up on the surface of your teeth.  Daily brushing and flossing can help control the plaque on the surface of the teeth, but cannot help the hard to reach areas.  This is when the plaque can turn into tartar build-up and only a dentist has the tools needed to it away.  If you do not see the dentist for professional cleanings, you may be leaving tartar undisturbed to grow on your teeth.  

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can start small, like with a tiny cavity.  But if you leave that tiny cavity untreated, it can grow into something more damaging.  Early detection of cavities is crucial before it turns into something else that is more complex to treat like an infection.  The only way to detect a cavity early is to go to a dentist and let them discover it during an oral exam.  


The most common unpleasant symptom of skipping dentist visits is developing cavities.  Cavities are tiny holes in your teeth that grow because of tartar buildup and tooth decay. A cavity can be filled to stop further damage, but only a dentist can do this procedure.  Not getting a cavity filled can lead to having to get a root canal.  Everyone knows that getting a root canal is uncomfortable at best, and can be avoided with regular dental check-ups.

Gum Disease

Not seeing a dentist means that your gums are not being checked for gingivitis or gum disease.  Gingivitis is the mild version of gum disease, where the gums are red, puffy, and sometimes painful.  If not properly cared for, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis which is a more serious version of gum disease.  Periodontitis can lead to infection, bone recession, and loose teeth.  

Lost Teeth

When you visit the dentist they can help detect gum disease and decay before it leads to losing teeth.  Skipping dentist appointments means that gum disease and decay can lead to you losing teeth.  It would be wise not to let it get to this point so you do not have to think about replacements for missing teeth.  

Stained Teeth

Buildup on the surface of your teeth can cause them to have an unpleasant aesthetic.  They can become dark or stained yellow due to foods that you eat, decay, or smoking.  A professional cleaning from a dentist can keep your teeth free of discoloration.  

Bad Breath

Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to bad breath.  Even with twice-daily brushing and flossing, periodontal disease can lead to halitosis or bad breath in the mouth.  To avoid this unpleasant symptom, it is wise to see your dentist at least once a year, if not twice.  

White Coated Tongue

If bacteria builds up inside of the mouth, not only can it lead to bad breath, but also to a white-coated tongue.  This could be a symptom of something more serious, and if it persists for more than a week, you need to have it checked out by a dental professional.  

Infections or Abscesses 

This will be the most noticeable symptom that should be checked ASAP!  An abscess or pus inside of your mouth could be a sign of infection.  Do not wait to see the dentist for treatment.  

Oral Cancer

Any type of cancer can be life-threatening, so it is important to get screened for oral cancer.  A dentist will scan your mouth for oral cancer at regular check-ups.  If you skip these check-ups, you forfeit your chance at early detection of oral cancer, which is the best way to beat it.  It is wise to get screened for oral cancer every six months.  

Disease in the Body

Oral health is directly related to other systems in your body.  It can be correlated to a number of other illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke.  During dental exams, the dentist will also look at the early warning signs of these serious health conditions.  Early detection gives you the best chance of getting the treatment you will need to fight any life-threatening conditions.  

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