BECAUSE PREVENTION IS such a major part of good dental care, it is critical to visit the dentist for regular checkups. In most cases, two regular dental cleanings a year will be all you need, but this is not always true. What are the signs that you should not wait until your next scheduled appointment to visit the dentist? For this blog post, we have listed the top five.
1. Aches of Any Kind If you are experiencing tooth pain, it may mean that a cavity has advanced to the point where the dental pulp is infected. Do not tough it out thinking it will just go away on its own. Other types of pain you should bring to the dentist are an aching jaw and frequent headaches. These are often connected to oral health issues such as bruxism (teeth-grinding), and the dentist can help
2. Mouth Sores and Bleeding Gums Mouth sores usually go away on their own, but they can also be a sign of infection or disease, so it is important to get them checked when they appear. If you notice that you are bleeding after brushing or flossing, it is time to come see the dentist, particularly if you are already using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Bleeding gums are one of the first symptoms of gum disease, so do not ignore the warning signs!
3. Previous Dental Work If you have a problem with previous dental work, do not wait until a regular appointment to get it fixed, because the issue will likely get worse. A cracked or chipped crown needs to be repaired quickly to prevent infection. Worn-out fillings need to be replaced to prevent bacteria from thriving in the gaps between the tooth and the filling.
4. Serious Medical Concerns Serious conditions such as diabetes, eating disorders and gum disease affect our oral health more than we realize, and sometimes the treatments have negative oral impacts as well. Many medications cause dry mouth, which can seriously jeopardize oral health. If you are diagnosed with a chronic disease and/or have new medications prescribed to you, your dentist needs to be informed of the changes.
5. Bad Breath Few things are as mortifying as being in a social situation and realizing you have bad breath, but did you know that bad breath is sometimes a symptom of gum disease or other health problems? If you find yourself having an unusually hard time keeping your breath minty fresh, it is a good idea to visit the dentist so we can discover the underlying cause.
Keep Up Your Regular Visits!
While we hope you come to see us right away if you notice any of these signs, we want to reemphasize the importance of scheduling regular appointments. Most dental health problems appear gradually, and an appointment every six months is enough to catch these problems before they become serious.
Thank you for trusting in us to take care of all your dental concerns!
Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original. The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.