If you want to avoid the discomfort, inconvenience and costs associated with undergoing treatment for major dental health issues, you should keep the following tips in mind.
Don't wait until you're in severe pain to start using your local dental services
If you want to maintain excellent dental health, then it's important to start using your local dental services now, whilst your teeth and gums are still in good condition. If you wait until you are in severe pain before visiting your dentist, it may already be too late to avoid serious dental problems.
Intense pain in your teeth or gums can be an indicator either of an abscess (this usually needs to be treated with root canal therapy or a tooth extraction, as well as a lengthy course of antibiotics) or severe decay (i.e., the type of decay that results in the exposure of the highly sensitive tooth pulp; this usually requires root canal therapy as well as the placement of a crown or a large filling).
Conversely, if you visit your dentist regularly for checkups and scale-and-polishes, the likelihood of you developing an abscess or severe decay and having to undergo expensive and complex treatments as a result of this will be far lower. This is because your dentist will be able to spot and take care of any minor issues (such as a buildup of tartar or a minor infection) before these issues develop into major problems.
Get to know your teeth and gums
Very few people closely examine their teeth and gums on a regular basis. However, doing so could potentially spare you a lot of pain and expense in the future. If you inspect your teeth and gums in the mirror every day, you will be able to identify potentially problematic changes at an early stage. This, in turn, will allow you to make adjustments to your dental hygiene routine or undergo dental treatments which will prevent serious dental health problems like periodontal disease or abscesses.
For example, if you look at your mouth regularly, you will be able to notice if your gums start to recede. Gum recession is a common symptom of periodontal disease and needs to be addressed promptly in order to stop the disease from advancing. In this situation, you may need to start using a medicated mouthwash (to reduce the gum inflammation that is causing the recession) or have your dentist carry out a scale-and-polish to remove inflammatory tartar. This should help to prevent the condition from progressing to the point where you start to lose your teeth.
Similarly, if you notice new discolouration (an issue which is often caused by enamel erosion or decay) and head to your dentist straight away, they may be able to cover the affected teeth with crowns or veneers in order to prevent further erosion or decay. This, in turn, should minimise the risk of these teeth rotting away and having to be extracted.