Going to the dentist is not something many people enjoy. In fact, many people look for any excuse to get out of it. Between nine and twenty percent of adults avoid going to the dentist because of fear and anxiety.

Despite this, avoiding your six-monthly dentist visit is extremely unwise. Doing so can result in serious issues. Don’t make this mistake. You could live to regret it. Below are four reasons not to skip your regular dental exam.

Gingivitis and Gum Disease

One of the strongest reasons to always go to your dentist appointments is to stave off the threat of gingivitis and gum disease. Gingivitis is actually the condition that precedes gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. These conditions can lead to symptoms such as bleeding gums, bad breath, gum deterioration, and the loosening of teeth.

Tartar and Cavities

Other problems you need to worry about include tartar and cavities. Tartar is a hard calcified deposit that can form on the teeth. If not removed, such as through a teeth cleaning at the dentist, it can cause tooth decay. Cavities must also be removed by a dentist. Cavities are holes in the teeth caused by tooth decay. If not removed, the bacteria that feed inside cavities can ruin your teeth. If left untreated for long enough, cavities may require more extensive treatment, such as crowns or root canals.

Oral Cancer

Another huge danger that can be detected during a routine dentist appointment is oral cancer. Oral cancer appears as flat patches or like an ulcer inside the mouth. Sadly, this form of cancer sometimes goes undetected by those who do not visit the dentist on a routine basis. This cancer can appear on the lips, bottom of the mouth, cheeks and tongue. Men over the age of 50 are most at risk for developing oral cancer.

Extraoral Exam

Another reason why you should go to the dentist is to receive an extraoral exam. While you may not be familiar with this term, it is part of general dentistry. This is an examination of the head and neck for cancer. Those at risk for oral cancer are certainly at risk for cancer in these locations, as well.

Overall, going to the dentist is required for living a healthy life. The risks of not going to your scheduled appointments are simply too high. You could lose your teeth. Even worse, you could lose your life to threats like cancer. Make sure to schedule routine dentist appointments.

Author's Bio: 

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University, where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.