Risks Associated With Skipping Routine Dental Appointments

Risks of Skipping Dental Appointments - Tooth Pain

One of the most effective ways to maintain your oral health is to be diligent about scheduling and showing up for semi-annual dental appointments. Most patients should have their teeth cleaned and their mouth examined for any issues every six months.

Think of your routine dental appointments as preventive maintenance on your mouth. Skipping a dental appointment and rescheduling it within a month or so probably won’t make a difference in your oral health, but putting off a routine appointment for months or even years is another story.

Here the dentists at La Jolla Family Smile Design explain the risks associated with skipping routine dental care.

Tooth Decay

During those routine cleanings, the dentist removes tartar and plaque from the teeth. Without regular, thorough cleanings, there is an increased risk of tooth decay, as well as other dental issues. An ounce of prevention is always worth the considerably higher cost and time expenditure needed for a cure.

Tooth Loss

No one wants to lose a tooth. Not only can tooth loss make it harder to eat, but missing teeth destroy your smile. By keeping routine dental appointments, the dentist can spot potential problems before they become severe enough to result in lost teeth.

Gum Disease

Gum disease contributes to tooth loss and destruction of the bone supporting the teeth. There are three stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

Gingivitis is reversible with good dental care. Unfortunately, not keeping up with dental appointments can mean it is not detected until it has morphed into periodontitis or worse, resulting in tooth loss and the need for surgery.


Everyone wants a nice, white smile. Habits such as drinking coffee, tea or red wine can cause tooth staining. Two thorough cleanings annually can help remove stains and keep your smile as white as possible.

Oral Cancer Screening  

The state of your mouth can reflect your overall health. When a dentist performs a routine screening, they look for signs of serious diseases. That includes oral cancers.

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of oral cancers can mean the difference between life and death. Oral cancers found at later stages often prove fatal. Treatments for late-stage oral cancer may cause disfigurement.

Loss of Benefits

If you have dental insurance, there’s a practical financial reason for keeping current on your appointments. Most dental insurance policies offer two annual checkups on a “use it or lose it” basis. By taking advantage of these checkups in a timely manner, you may pay less out of pocket if problems arise.

Contact Us

If you are overdue for a dental appointment, contact the dentists at La Jolla Family Smile Design to schedule a consultation. Please call (858) 454-3044 today.