We all know we should be seeing the dentist every six months but in reality, far too many of us put off the visits for as long as humanly possible.
One teen just learnt a valuable lesson of not postponing the inevitable when the toothache that he had been ignoring for a year turned out to be something much more serious.
The 15-year-old boy from Hangzhou, China had started experiencing a slight pain in his teeth over a year ago but had ignored it because it did not affect his daily life, reported Chinese media.
The pain only got worse over time, prompting his family to take him to a hospital in late August.
It turned out to be no simple toothache.
After a scan, doctors discovered a tumour that had eaten away half of his lower jaw.
The tumour, also known as an ameloblastoma, had caused a large hole in the boy's jaw and numerous lesions in the bone.
According to the boy's doctor, ameloblastoma is slow-growing but extremely invasive. This means that incomplete removal of the mass could result in the tumour recurring. However, it is not likely to spread to other parts of the body.
The boy is currently recovering from surgery to remove the tumour and repair his jaw.
He is likely to make a full recovery and will be able to eat normally again after getting tooth implants, his doctor said.