Seeing your dentist twice a year is highly recommended, however many don’t schedule visits until a tooth or gum situation is dire. In addition to scheduling dental visits regularly, check out some of the telltale signs that a check-up is needed:
Toothaches usually mean a cavity is present, however mouth and jaw pain can be indicative of another issue. These include gum disease, an impacted tooth, or an abscessed tooth. If experiencing tooth pain, make an appointment with your dentist right away to determine the cause and save the tooth.
Are your gums red and swollen? Do they bleed when you brush or floss? Does your family have a history of gum disease? You’ll need to visit your dentist, as you may have an excess of tartar buildup and other problems relating to gingivitis or gum disease.
If you’ve had dental work done, such as fillings, crowns, dentures, or dental implants, it’s important to have them checked periodically. For example, fillings can fall out and leave the tooth susceptible to decay.
Ongoing medical issues are also reasons to visit your dentist. The American Dental Association suggests making your dentist part of your treatment plan to avoid further health complications. This is also recommended if undergoing medical treatment, such as hormone replacement therapy or radiation.
Regular tobacco use, whether via cigarettes, cigars, or chewing tobacco, is another reason to visit your dentist. Tobacco dramatically increases risk of oral cancer in addition to affecting your dental and overall health.
Are you experiencing eating issues? If having trouble chewing or swallowing, switch to soft foods and see your dentist as soon as possible.
Dental problems are common during pregnancy. Rather than letting pregnancy-related gingivitis and other issues take their toll, schedule a dental visit.
Dry mouth is a common side effect from certain medications, but can also be a symptom of other problems. Schedule a dental visit to determine the cause and best course of action.
If your jaw pops or you experience pain when opening or closing your mouth, it’s highly recommended you see your dentist.
Mouth spots and sores that last a week or more are another sign it’s time to visit the dentist. They could be a symptom of a larger issue or infection.