Maybe you’re meticulous about brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and scheduling a cleaning twice a year with your dentist. Keep it up! This is the best practice to avoid and prevent oral health problems. But how do you know if it’s time to make an appointment outside of routine cleaning? Below is a list of 8 signs that it’s time to call your dentist. If you notice at least one of these issues, don’t wait. Make an appointment as soon as possible. Ignoring these issues could lead to bigger, more painful problems.
1. Excessive Pain
If you have pain in your mouth, don’t hesitate to call your dentist. If you have localized pain in one area of your mouth or tooth, and swelling in your mouth or face, there could be a number of underlying issues.
2. Changes in Your Gums
If your gums look puffy or bleed when you brush your teeth, make an appointment with your dentist. Find out if there is a history of gum disease in your family and share that information with your dentist. Catching and addressing gum problems early on is crucial to your overall oral health.
3. It’s Uncomfortable to Eat
If you experience discomfort when biting or chewing your food, see your dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, consume soft foods and liquids so that you don’t unintentionally do more damage to your teeth.
4. Dry Mouth
Always feeling thirsty or feeling that your mouth is constantly dry, are often red flags of an underlying medical issue or a reaction to a medication. The sooner you seek dental care, the better.
5. Jaw Pain
When you wake up with jaw pain, experience pain in your jaw while chewing, or notice a popping sound when you open and close your mouth, it’s time to call your dentist. It’s also important to schedule an appointment if you have an uneven bite. Dental work can correct or prevent jaw pain—it’s not something you have to learn to live with.
6. Spots and Sores in Your Mouth
Call your dentist if a sore in your mouth lasts longer than one week. This can include canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia, and candidiasis. Mouth sores can be caused by irritation from braces, dentures, or a cracked or broken tooth. But they are often symptoms of an infection, disease or disorder, virus or fungus.
7. You Hide Your Smile
If you attempt to hide your teeth when you smile or speak, contact your dentist. Maybe there is a new reason–a broken or chipped tooth, discoloration, or loss of teeth. Or you wish your teeth were straighter or brighter. There are many restorative and cosmetic solutions your dentist can pursue.
8. You’re Pregnant
In some cases, pregnancy can make dental problems worse. Keeping your scheduled appointment is completely safe for you and your baby. However, many women find that they are most comfortable during the second trimester, so you may consider making an appointment during that time.
Our team at Atkins and Anderson Dentistry is here to serve you and help your teeth stay healthy. Never let embarrassment or fear keep you from scheduling an appointment. In many cases, the sooner you address an issue, you’ll experience less pain and prevent long-term damage. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have pain or notice any of the above issues or need to schedule a routine cleaning and exam.