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Posted Aug 26 2008 4:31pm
Don't put off going to the dentist because you hate going. You know you do. Going to the dentist takes too much time, you have more important things to do, it costs too much even with dental insurance, it will hurt, or the problem will go away by itself.

Most people don't take action until not taking action is too painful or too expensive.

You know when you need to go because you feel something is wrong, maybe a little tender, and then you see blood in the sink once or twice when you brush or floss your teeth (television ads call it "pink in the sink"). But, as soon as you walk out of the bathroom you put it right out of your mind and pretend that it doesn't exist or that it will go away by itself. Dental problems never go away by themselves.

Avoiding the dentist and hoping periodontal disease will go away by itself is a vicious and damaging cycle. When you begin to lose your teeth, nothing will be as important to you as the time you spend trying to save them.

People are afraid of the dentist, they're not aware of their oral health problems (so many others have the same problems they think their problems are normal), and most people don't realize how important their oral health is to their general health.

Don't wait. Pain associated with periodontal disease does not build character; it diminishes the quality of your life.

Whether you choose to stay with your dentist or go to a periodontist for periodontal treatment is up to you and depends on your level of trust in whomever you choose to work with. Yes, you and your dental professional should be working together to save your teeth.

Whomever you see should give you a complete examination and evaluation during your first visit, which should include your medical and dental history, medications you take, x-rays to check for bone loss, and measuring your gums for periodontal pockets. The exam should also include an oral cancer screening. Be aware that, regardless of how gentle these professionals are, if you have gum disease you can be uncomfortable during an examination. It can hurt.

If you haven't waited too long to see a dental professional, you have a very good chance of saving your teeth (at least some of them) and half of your bank account. You may not even need periodontal surgery. If your dentist has referred you to a periodontist, the two should work together regarding periodontal treatment, crowns, fillings, extractions, and replacement teeth.

If you've had a bad dental experience, if you feel you're not getting proper treatment, or you have any reservations for any reason about your dentist or your periodontist, get another opinion, but don't put off treatment.

Be as proactive with your dental professional as you are with your doctor, lawyer, or broker. Tell your dental professional about any symptoms you've noticed. You can save your teeth and a great deal of money and heartache if you act immediately.

Take action before it's too late.

What I know for sure is that it's all connected.

Saundra Goodman is the author of an inspiring and invaluable book titled "Got Teeth? A Survivor's Guide, How to keep your teeth or live without them." Saundra is an expert on how to have and keep a beautiful smile, even with replacement teeth.

Access to learn what you can do for yourself, your children, and your grandchildren. Sign up for your FREE TIPS at

You may publish my article in your newsletter, on your web site, or in your publication provided you publish the entire article and include the resource box at the end. Notification would be appreciated, but it is not required.
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