Your dental health is just as important now as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic and perhaps even more important given that your overall health is invariably linked to oral health. Many Americans put off going to the dentist for several months at the start of the pandemic, but there are many reasons why “it is important to make that return to the denist office and stick to it,” said Dr. Tony Thomas, lead dentist at Advanced Smile Care in North Central San Antonio. Here are a few reasons why skipping or putting off that preventative appointment for your oral health is a bad idea.
#1 THAT CLEANING YOU SKIPPED COULD COST MORE TIME AND MONEY DOWN THE ROAD
Before the pandemic, most of us would know how long a simple appointment would take. According to the Washington Post if you haven’t been back to a dentist, you may not realize all of the extra steps and safety precautions dentist offices are taking such as enhanced PPE and social distancing. Combine that with added plaque from all the time you went without a cleaning, and your visit could be twice as long as you think and may require a follow-up visit.
#2 NON-URGENT TREATMENTS CAN BECOME EMERGENCY TREATMENTS
You may have a cavity that doesn’t cause you pain, so you don’t feel it is necessary to go into the office for it quite yet. “That is a big mistake,” said Dr. Thomas. “A cavity can quickly become infected or grow to such a size that it will lead to a much more costly and invasive procedure such as a crown or root canal.”
#3 YOUR ORAL HEALTH AND OVERALL HEALTH ARE LINKED
According to smilemichigan.com when your oral health is impacted, your overall health can suffer as well, and vice-versa. That is one more reason to keep up with your dental health during this pandemic, because COVID-19 is a disease that feasts on those whose health are not in tip-top shape. “Keeping that in mind, when you make that call to set up a dental appointment, consider making one with your regular physician as well if you haven’t seen them since before the pandemic, even through telemedicine,” said Dr. Thomas.
#4 DENTAL PROBLEMS CAN INCEASE YOUR RISK OF DEVELOPING COVID-19
If you have a gum infection, that can raise your risk of developing high blood pressure or diabetes, which are both risk factors for serious complications from COVID-19. Occupational Health and Safety reports that any type of inflammation increases the risk of acquiring a life-threatening coronavirus infection.
If you do make an appointment and notice that you have any of the common symptoms of COVID-19 including a cough, fever, or shortness of breath within 14 days of a appointment, call your dentist office immediately to reschedule.