Skipping Dental Appointments Hurts More Than Your Teeth

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When you miss a regular dental appointment, you're putting more than your teeth at risk. In addition to gum disease, cavities, and other mouth problems, poor oral health has been linked to several other diseases. Here are some things to consider the next time you are tempted to skip that visit.

Gum disease and diabetes

There is a vicious cycle going on in your mouth if you are diabetic. High blood sugar levels can lead to increased bacteria since they feed on sugar. It can also make it harder for your mouth to fight off infections like gum disease. At the same time, gum disease and other infections can make it harder to control blood sugar levels.

Since gum disease is usually painless, regular dental visits and proper brushing and flossing regimens are very important. They are your best line of defense in protecting your teeth and controlling your diabetes.


If you are planning to have a baby in the future, keep your teeth in good health. A study done by the University of Western Australia has shown that women with gum disease take an average of two months longer to conceive than women with healthy gums. While unsure of the exact cause, it is believed that the body's immune system is triggered by the inflammation. In addition to attacking the gum disease, it may also thicken the lining of the uterus, making conception more difficult.

Infertility isn't just a women's health issue however. Low sperm count and poor sperm quality have been linked to bacteria as well. Tests on sperm showed the presence of bacteria even after antibiotic treatments. However, once gum disease was corrected, the sperm then tested bacteria-free. So, if you want to have kids someday, take care of your teeth.

Premature birth and low birth weight

If you are pregnant, keeping your teeth healthy is even more important, because now the bacteria and inflammation can affect your baby, too. Gum disease has been linked to low birth weight and premature labor and delivery. To make matters worse, the hormone changes in your body during pregnancy can actually increase your risk for gingivitis and other oral problems.

In addition to these serious health issues, poor oral hygiene can lead to the following:

These conditions make regular dental care a must for all ages. So the next time you think you don't need to go to the dentist every six months, remember this list and call and make that appointment to visit a general dentist. Your health depends on it.