Ideally, we should all be seeing our dentists every six months, but if that’s not possible for some reason, or if problems arise between visits, we may have to put in a little extra effort to make another appointment. Below are five signs you need to see your dentist:
1) You have bad breath.
It’s one thing if you had a lot of garlic in your lunch, but if you or those close to you notice you chronically have bad breath, it could be a sign there’s something wrong. Not only is bad breath socially undesirable, but if it keeps coming back or remains constant, it could be a sign your mouth isn’t is as healthy as it should be. If that’s the case, trying to cover it with mints won’t solve the core problem. In fact, because mints tend to be little more than flavored sugar, you could actually be making the problem worse. Rather than put it off or hope the problem goes away on its own, you’d really be better off making an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
2) You have dry mouth.
We all experience dryness at one time or another, especially during certain times of the year when humidity is low. But if it becomes a chronic issue and it doesn’t seem to matter how much water you drink, you need to make an appointment with your dentist. Saliva acts as our bodies’ natural mouthwash, and when there’s not enough of it, it creates an opportunity for plaque to build up and harmful bacteria to take over. It can also be a symptom of a more serious medical issue, so don’t try to treat the symptom by sucking on hard candies or chewing gum. The sugar will do more harm than good and you could end up making a bad situation worse.
3) You’re pregnant.
Not only is it safe to go to the dentist when you’re pregnant, it’s highly recommended. As anyone who has given birth knows, pregnancy affects all areas of your body: it makes your feet swell; creates changes in your hormones; causes your body to store more fat (it’s not just your belly that gets bigger); and, of course, it can affect your mouth. If you already have a dental condition, even if you didn’t know about it, pregnancy can make it worse.
To make sure everything is in good condition, you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you find out you’re pregnant and let them know about the bundle of joy that’s on its way, just like you would tell your doctor. It’s also more important than ever to keep up with your regular dentist appointments when you’re pregnant to make sure nothing sneaks up on you.
4) You have ongoing medical issues.
Whether you’re struggling with diabetes, heart disease, or HIV/AIDS, maintaining your oral health is as important as treating the disease itself. Remember: your mouth is the first part of your digestive system, and as such, it can influence and be influenced by other factors of your health. That’s why it’s especially important to see your dentist and stay on top of your oral health when you’re dealing with ongoing medical issues and/or receiving medical treatment, such as radiation or chemotherapy.
5) You’re having trouble eating.
Whether it’s a sudden pain or trouble swallowing, any time you have trouble eating, you need to see your dentist right away. Sometimes they’re minor issues that go away on their own, but if they’re not, waiting could only make them worse. Don’t gamble with your health. See your dentist as soon as a problem starts.
Don’t ignore warning signs. If you want to keep your teeth healthy and strong, you must take care of them. At Simply Smiles Dentistry, we can show you how to properly care for your teeth. You will have a great smile that lasts a lifetime.
Until next time…Keep on Smiling!