The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends, for optimal oral health, brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes, flossing daily and visiting your dentist bi-annually for professional cleanings and exams. And while we completely agree with these guidelines, there may be other times that a trip to the dentist might be in order.
Making a trip to the dentist might not be your favorite thing to do, but when these 12 events occur, it’s probably a good idea to make an appointment. Here’s a look at several signs that you need to see a dentist, according to the dental professionals at MouthHealthy.org.
You are experiencing pain.
Anytime you notice consistent pain or swelling in your mouth, face or neck, it can mean a number of things. Don’t ignore it for too long.
Your gums are bothering you.
If you’re noticing a little “pink in the sink” on a regular basis, it’s time to make an appointment. And if gums appear puffy and red, or you have a family history of gum disease, call to make an appointment.
You’re self-conscious of your smile.
Whether you’re embarrassed of the color or shape of your teeth, or a missing tooth has you down, don’t put off talking to your dentist about it. Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way in recent years, and there are several options to help you achieve the bright, white smile of your dreams.
You’ve had previous dental work.
If you have fillings, dental implants, crowns, or dentures, it’s important to see your dentist regularly to make sure they are still in great shape. While most dental work is good for years, nothing lasts forever.
You have ongoing medical issues.
If you have a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eating disorders or HIV, or you are undergoing medical treatments, like radiation, chemotherapy or hormone replacement therapy, you’ll want to make your dentist part of team. Oral health and overall wellness are closely connected. Your dentist has an important role in your health care.
Despite previous thoughts, it is completely safe to go to the dentist while pregnant. In fact, pregnancy can actually cause some dental problems to worsen, so don’t miss your regular checkup.
You’re having a difficult time eating.
It is not normal to have difficulty chewing or swallowing. While you’re waiting to see your dentist, stick to soft or liquified foods.
You have dry mouth.
There are several reasons that you may feel parched all the time. While many medications can cause this side effect, so can many medical issues. Do not ignore chronic dry mouth or bad breath.
You use any kind of tobacco product.
From bad breath to oral cancer, chewing tobacco and cigarettes are harmful to your overall and dental health. Your dentist can help you quit.
You are experiencing jaw pain.
If your jaw sometimes pops or is painful when opening, closing, chewing or when you first wake up, it’s time to make an appointment with your dentist.
Your mouth has sores and spots.
If there’s something that doesn’t look or feel right in your mouth, you should have your dentist examine it. Types of mouth sores include canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia and candidiasis. Mouth sores have several causes and vary in severity. They could be a symptom of disease or disorder, like infection from bacteria or viruses, or a result from irritation caused by brace s or dentures.
It’s time for your checkup.
Even if you don’t have any symptoms, regular checkups are important because they can help prevent problems from developing and treat existing symptoms before they become more advanced.