However, putting off a visit to your dentist could be doing more harm than good.

Data taken from YouGov revealed that one in three British adults have not been to the dentist in over two years, which is alarming. In fact, four per cent of the adults they surveyed did not know when they had last been to see a dentist.

It turns out that despite the UK now being free from covid restrictions (at the time of writing), some adults are still putting off their dental visit. Not seeing a dentist can lead to serious dental complications, which can easily go undetected if these are not checked regularly. In this article, Dentist Old Market, a dental practice based in Bristol, shares their insight into common dental complications you can develop from not regularly visiting your dentist.

1. Increased risk of gum disease
Gum disease is a common dental complication that is caused by the build-up of plaque. Plaque is made up from food substance and bacteria which can cause tartar. Neglecting your oral hygiene and missing regular visits to the dentist will cause the tartar on your teeth to grow bacteria and cause gum inflammation.

Avoiding a visit to your dentist means your gum disease could go undetected which could leave you with long-term risk of periodontal disease. However, regular visits to your dentist means early signs of your gum disease could be detected, saving you pain and long-term oral complications.

2. Increased risk of other health problems
Dental check-ups can reveal more than just dental complications. These check-ups can show early signs of more serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, oral cancer, kidney failure and heart disease.

Visiting your dentist regularly will increase your chances of catching the signs of these medical conditions early on before they advance. Catching the early signs of these conditions could help you avoid these medical complications and possibly even save your life.

3. Increased risk of tooth decay
We are all made aware and regularly reminded of the risk of tooth decay – which is caused by plaque. Following the recommended at home guidelines such as brushing twice a day and flossing regularly is not enough to manage plaque build-up. Missing regular dental appointments means plaque can build up and attack your teeth, which can lead to complications such as tooth decay and even tooth loss.

In order to manage the build-up of plaque and avoid tooth decay, you require cleaning from a hygienist or dentist regularly. Visiting a hygienist is one of the best things you can do to avoid tooth decay. Their specialist tools and cleaning can manage your plaque and ensure your teeth are not at risk of tooth decay.

4. Increased risk of tooth discolouration
We consume so many different foods and drinks throughout the day and these can slowly affect the colour of our teeth. For example, if you're a big tea or coffee drinker, you could slowly be discolouring your teeth every time you take another sip.

However, tooth discolouration is also known to be a symptom for other medical conditions. You never know if it’s tooth discoloration from food and drink or something more harmful. Therefore, it is important to regularly visit your dentist for a check-up or teeth whitening, and keep an eye out for any tooth discolouration.

5. Increased risk of hidden oral problems which may require dental procedures
Neglecting your oral hygiene can lead to long term oral issues such as tooth loss, which can affect your mouth’s structure and appearance. If you reach this stage of oral complication, there are still options for you. Many dental practices can offer cosmetic dentistry and facial rejuvenation along with many other dental services, but these can come at an expensive cost.

Managing your oral hygiene with regular dental check-ups will prevent you developing dental complications which require expensive procedures to fix.

It is important that you keep your patients well informed of these complications, as it may encourage them to visit more regularly and take better care of their oral health.