There are plenty of jokes and memes going around about the general state of affairs this past year — from letting the gray roots go wild to wearing pajamas to “work” everyday. More seriously, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused 40% of the population in the United States to postpone their routine health care, including dental visits.
The team at Union Square Dental understands the perils of deferred oral care, whether it’s pandemic-, anxiety-, or time-related, and we want to share our concerns here.
While we hate to resort to scare tactics, we present the following statistics to give you a better idea about the dangers of deferring your dental care.
When it comes to your dental health, there are two major threats, and gum disease is one of them. Also called periodontitis, the prevalence of gum disease among adults in the United States is nothing short of alarming.
To start, more than 47% of adults 30 years or older have some degree of gum disease. This number jumps to more than 70% of people 65 years or older.
Left unchecked, gum disease can destroy the connective tissues that hold your teeth and gums in place, causing your gums to recede and your teeth to loosen and fall out. Periodontitis can also have a wider spread impact as it has been linked to dementia.
The good news is that gum disease is highly treatable, especially during the earlier states, like gingivitis. More often than not, regular dental cleanings, as well as great at-home care, can stop gum disease in its tracks.
The second-biggest threat when it comes to your dental health is tooth decay. More than one-quarter of adults in the US have untreated tooth decay.
Like gum disease, tooth decay is highly preventable and treatable, and the earlier we can intervene, the better. For example, early intervention can mean the difference between a simple filling or the loss of the entire tooth.
Even if the decay has destroyed much of your tooth, we can clear away the damaged tissue and place a crown over your tooth to preserve it.
Each of these procedures is quick and easy and allows you to continue to smile, chew, and speak with confidence.
Tooth loss by the numbers
As we’ve mentioned, if you put off treating either periodontitis or tooth decay, you run the risk of losing your tooth (or teeth). Here again, some statistics might shed some light on the seriousness of this problem.
To wit, 178 million people in the US are missing at least one tooth, and 40 million are missing all of their teeth.
Something to smile about
If we still haven’t made the case for not postponing your dental care, how about this fact? Routine dental care, especially dental cleanings, will keep your pearly whites, well, pearly white.
Even with the best at-home care, plaque and stains can still build up in hard-to-reach places. With your twice-annual dental cleanings, we remove stains and tartar buildup, allowing your teeth to shine again.
Sit back and relax with sedation dentistry
If you’re deferring your dental care because of dental anxiety, we offer sedation dentistry to ease your anxiety while you get the care you need.
The bottom line is that there’s real danger in putting off your dental care, and you have everything to gain from getting the help you need. Even if you feel like it’s too late to help, we assure you that we can.
If you want to smile with confidence, now and long into the future, contact our office in the Flatiron District of New York City to set up your appointment with one of our experienced and compassionate dental experts.