Fear Factor: What Dental Anxiety Can Do To Your Smile
We don’t need expensive, in-depth surveys to tell us that a lot of people avoid going to the dentist – it’s millions every year. Of those people a good percentage are avoiding the dentist because of anxiety over treatment. Here’s where the numbers are interesting: around fifteen percent of American adults are considered dental phobic – that’s a lot of people!
At New Albany Implants we’ve built our entire practice around making patients feel comfortable, accepted, and at ease. We know that dental care can be uncomfortable and nerve-wracking, which is why we work so hard to make it anything but! Regardless, anxiety is still a factor that keeps a lot of people from getting the oral care they need. If you’re among them hopefully you’ll find some useful information while we discuss the effects of avoiding the dentist.
All About Plaque
We’re not talking about getting recognized for your accomplishments: we’re talking about dental plaque. Bacteria in your mouth forms a sticky, white biofilm that adheres to your teeth and gums and does serious damage to both of them.
If you’ve ever been to the dentist in your life you’ve probably been told to brush twice a day and floss nightly, and there’s a really good reason for that: plaque bacteria adds up quick and starts doing harm fast!
When you brush your teeth it only takes a few minutes for bacteria to start clinging to your teeth. Within just a few hours microcolonies start growing and covering themselves in a layer of slime that protects them and helps them to spread faster. Those colonies continue to grow, and in just around 24 hours they can start causing irritation to your gums.
When plaque starts causing gum irritation it’s in the beginning stages of trying to get beneath your gumline, which is the inevitable beginning of gum disease. Plaque bacteria also produces acids as soon as you eat your next snack or meal, meaning it could take no time at all for your teeth to start being eaten away and for cavities to form!
What Happens Over Time
We like to see our patients every six months because that’s the perfect window for us to catch any new problems and begin treatment before they become serious. Without regular preventive care you’re putting yourself at risk for a lot of health problems, but particularly gum disease and tooth decay.
When oral bacteria gets beneath your gums it spreads rapidly without you being able to do anything about it. Your body reacts to this bacteria invasion in the only way it knows how: with inflammation. Our bodies use inflammation to fight infection everywhere, but in your mouth it simply doesn’t work like it should.
Your gums can’t fight oral bacteria fast enough, so inflammation just gets worse and worse. Eventually you’ll end up with gums that bleed, recede, hurt, and pull away from your teeth. The end result of gum disease is almost always tooth loss, and it will get there without professional care!
No matter how well you take care of your teeth and gums at home there are still areas that your brushing and flossing can’t reach!
Plaque bacteria produce acid whenever you eat a food with sugar in it. That acid wears away your enamel, first causing white spots, then brown spots, and eventually pits of decayed tooth and bacteria. A filling can stop a cavity dead in its tracks, but ignoring it will eventually cause severe decay, an infected root, and either a root canal or an extraction.
Decayed teeth can also lead to abscesses in the bones and gums, which can do even more damage as they eat away at hard and soft tissues.
The Bottom Line: Dental Care Is Necessary!
If you’re an anxious patient we know how frightening dental care can be. Unfortunately it’s also a necessary part of keeping your mouth healthy. Without proper oral health care you will inevitably suffer from either (or both) gum disease and tooth decay.
We’re proud to be able to offer several different forms of sedation dentistry to help ease your anxiety and make your care simple. From basic nitrous oxide to complete general anesthesia we’re able to do it all, and we’re proud to make it available to you if you feel you need it.
We Can Make Care Anxiety Free
There’s no reason for you to go on without dental care, especially when we can easily make sedation available to you. If you want to find out more about the options we have available at New Albany Implants don’t hesitate to call us at (888) 469-3982! If you would rather face your fears you can schedule an appointment right here online. We look forward to seeing you soon!