While you hopefully know how important it is, going to the dentist isn’t the most pleasant experience in the world. Because of that, a lot of people delay going to a dentist for as long as possible. While generally, you should go to the dentist twice a year, there are definitely some signs that your teeth could use professional help. Here are some reasons why you should visit the dentist:
- Your jaw hurts
- Your gums are bleeding
- You see white spots
- Your teeth have become more sensitive
- Your mouth is always dry
- You’re pregnant
- Your teeth look like they’re shrinking
- You’re self-conscious about the way your smile looks
- You can’t remember your last appointment
1. Your Jaw Hurts
There’s nothing worse than jaw pain. It can cause headaches and can make chewing difficult. You may even notice clicks and cracks.
Whether you’re only experiencing the pain when you eat or you wake up and already feel the pain, you shouldn’t have to live like that. There can be different causes of jaw pain and you’ll have a variety of treatment options. But only an experienced dentist can help you get to the bottom of the problem.
2. Your Gums are Bleeding
If your toothbrush turns red when you brush your teeth or your gums are bleeding when you floss, you definitely need to get your teeth checked out. This is not normal. It can be a sign of gum disease which, if left untreated, can actually cause you to lose teeth. Sometimes this happens after a prolonged period of poor oral hygiene. In some cases of gum disease, your gums may not be bleeding but they could be inflamed or sore.
3. You See White Spots
When you notice that something has changed in the appearance of your mouth, it’s often the time to get your teeth checked out by the pros. White spots are one example. You may notice them appearing on your teeth, warning you that you may have some tooth decay. The earlier you schedule an appointment with your dentist to address this problem, the better your chances of resolution are.
4. Your Teeth Have Become More Sensitive
Drinking your morning hot coffee or taking a bite of ice cream should be pleasant experiences, not painful ones. But sometimes they can trigger sensitivity—so can certain sugary foods. While there are different kinds of toothpaste on the market to help treat sensitivity, they don’t solve all kinds of sensitivity. You may have an infected dental pulp or a damaged tooth. This is why you should visit the dentist if your teeth have suddenly become more sensitive.
5. Your Mouth is Always Dry
Dry mouth is a common side-effect of a variety of antibiotics and medications. Sometimes dry mouth is temporary and will resolve on its own, but other times, it’s persistent. Why is it important to visit the dentist if this is just a minor inconvenience? The truth is, if left unchecked, it can also cause some pretty serious damage including gum disease.
Your saliva helps wash away food particles and neutralizes the acid caused by plaque. Thus, if you have chronic dry mouth, you’re at greater risk of developing gum disease. A dentist can assess the problem and, if necessary, prescribe something like a mouthwash that will help resolve it.
6. You’re Pregnant
One effect of pregnancy you may not have heard of before is the way it impacts your teeth. Hormonal changes can make your gums more irritated, sore, and tender. Pregnant women commonly suffer from gingivitis, which is a milder form of gum disease. It is highly recommended to see the dentist for extra cleanings in your second and third trimesters to combat these issues.
There’s no need to worry about the impact of going to the dentist while pregnant. While you should wait until after you’ve given birth to get your teeth whitened or to undergo a cosmetic dental procedure, you should still take care of any fillings or crowns while you’re pregnant. If you put these treatments off until after you’ve given birth, your risk of infection goes up significantly. You can even get dental x-rays without any issues.
7. Your Teeth Look Like They’re Shrinking
Maybe you haven’t noticed that you’re grinding your teeth—but they don’t quite look like they once did in the mirror. This could be because you’ve been grinding your teeth so hard that you’ve broken down the enamel and shortened your teeth. This puts you at a greater risk for cavities and exposed nerves, which is why you should visit the dentist to get your teeth grinding checked out ASAP.
8. You’re Self-Conscious About the Way Your Smile Looks
If you’re unhappy with the way your smile looks, you should also head to the dentist. No one should have to go through life feeling self-conscious. We should all be free to smile! This is why you should schedule an appointment and have an honest conversation with your dentist. Whether you’re worried about stains, gaps, or crooked teeth, there’s almost always something that can be done. You never know what your options might be until you open up about your concerns!
9. You Can’t Remember Your Last Appointment
If you can’t tell by all of these reasons already, seeing your dentist regularly is absolutely crucial to your wellbeing. By going every six months, you’re maximizing your chances of identifying any problems early rather than waiting until a serious issue arises to get help. If you can’t remember the last time you went to a dentist, it’s definitely time to get on the phone and book an appointment—for the sake of your teeth, your mouth, and your overall quality of life!
Trust the Signs—Schedule an Appointment with Swedish Dental
Have we convinced you why it’s important to visit the dentist? If you’re experiencing any of these tooth problems, it’s time to book a dental appointment! Swedish Dental would love to take you on as a new patient or pick up where we left off if it’s just been a while since you’ve dropped by. We totally understand going to the dentist can be intimidating—but we’ll do our best to make it easy!