Believe it or not, a noticeable percentage of the American population consciously chooses to forgo a visit to a dentist due to a number of reasons. They would rather suffer in silence due to an ongoing oral health problem rather than spend time in a dentist’s office.
Top Reasons Why Americans Refuse to See a Dentist
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 42% of those who choose to skip visiting a dentist, in spite of an aching tooth, cannot afford to receive general dental treatment. Furthermore, it’s not only the poor or uneducated who are refusing to regularly visit a dentist. A staggering 33% of Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher refuse to seek dental treatment because they firmly believe they don’t need it.
In addition, it’s no secret that a portion of the American population is nurturing a crippling fear of dentists and receiving dental care. Because of unaffordability, stubbornness, and built-in fear, a whopping 31.6% of American adults suffer from untreated dental care, too often leading to tooth infections and premature loss of teeth.
Toothache and Tooth Sensitivity
Contrary to popular belief, a toothache won’t go away on its own if you ignore it. In fact, not doing anything to relieve the pressure might lead to tooth infection and may affect the nerves in the long run. A toothache might also mean that your tooth is slowly dying. The same goes for unexplainable sensitivity to either hot or cold food as this means that the problem has already reached the nerve ends in your gums.
It can be caused by your last lunch or simply by practicing poor dental hygiene. However, if your stinky breath cannot be cured by either brushing, flossing, or giving it a good run with a mouthwash, then it could be a symptom of an advanced gum disease. If you are giving off a sickly, sweet smell, you may possibly be suffering from diabetes or alcoholism, as it can only be caused by a process called ketoacidosis.
Canker sores are quite common and are often ignored by the majority of the population, despite the fact they are extremely painful, especially if you try to either speak or eat. However, canker sores are also the most common symptom of oral cancer. If those white and red patches refuse to heal even after two weeks of torture, then you should visit your dentist and a primary care doctor immediately for proper diagnosis.
Whatever your reason is for choosing not to seek professional help from a dentist, you should never ignore these warning signs. They might point to a greater underlying health issue. After all, it is much scarier to think of the possible consequences should you continue to ignore these symptoms.
Oral and Dental Health, CentersForDiseaseControlAndPrevention.gov
Top Ten Dental Symptoms, MouthHealthy.org