Everyone needs to go to the dentist for regular checkups. It is necessary for your overall health and well-being. There are, however, 12 signs that indicate you cannot put off seeing a dentist any longer.
1. You Have Pain
Pain is your body’s way saying, “Hey, there is something wrong.” When the pain is in your mouth, even if it’s only a brief twinge when you drink a hot or cold beverage, you need to get to a dentist. If you catch it early, your dentist may be able to fix it with a simple filling replacement. If you ignore it, you could easily end up having to get a root canal.
2. Your Gums Are Acting Up
A little tenderness or bleeding of the gums when you eat, floss or brush could be a sign of periodontal disease. If it continues for more than a few days, you need to see a dentist.
- According to Health Canada, left untreated, gum disease can lead to the loss of teeth and an increased risk of more serious diseases, such as respiratory disease.”
3. You Try to Hide Your Smile
Do you tend to hold your hand in front of your mouth when you smile or give that closed-lip half smile when you’re talking to friends, family and co-workers? That is a sure sign you need to see your dentist. You don’t have to live life stifling your smile when you should be relaxed, having fun and smiling spontaneously. Your dentist can fix whatever you’re hiding.
- Smiles are meant to be seen and enjoyed, not hidden away.
4. You’ve had Work Done
After you’ve had dental work done, you need to go see your dentist. He or she will want to make sure you are doing well and that the procedure was successful. Make time for the follow-up appointment to make sure everything is okay.
5. You have Ongoing Medical Issues
Medical issues like diabetes make seeing your dentist regularly even more important. Diabetics are more prone to gum disease and recurring respiratory problems could be due to gum disease or cavities. You may have a cavity that’s causing your respiratory troubles that you are not even aware of.
6. You are Pregnant
Pregnancy requires regular dental check-ups. You want to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy for you and your baby.
- There are suspicions that poor dental health might cause pre-term deliveries. Because of this, there are studies being done to determine if there is any correlation.
7. You have Trouble Eating
Dental problems can make eating painful or difficult. If you aren’t able to eat a variety of foods and chew them so that you can digest them, you could develop health problems. Your mouth and teeth do serve a purpose, after all. Don’t just “get by” eating soup and liquid foods or suffering with pain when you chew. Get to the dentist and have the problem taken care of so you can eat and enjoy your food.
8. You have a Dry Mouth or Bad Breath
Saliva serves a purpose. It is the body’s way of keeping your teeth and mouth clean and healthy. Insufficient saliva production is uncomfortable. It also leads to tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath). There are health conditions and medications that cause a dry mouth. Go see your dentist. He or she can check to make sure you haven’t developed gum disease or a cavity and offer a solution for the problem.
9. You Use any Kind of Tobacco
Whether you chew or smoke, tobacco causes dental problems. It can cause oral cancer and gum disease, in addition to heart disease and other types of cancer. If you use tobacco, go to the dentist for regular check-ups. Your dentist can check for early signs of these diseases.
10. You are Having Jaw Pain
Jaw pain may be due to tooth grinding, a bad tooth, periodontal disease, an infection or a number of other problems. Get in to see a dentist if it persists for more than a few days. He or she can do ex-rays and an exam to determine the cause. Once the dentist figures out what is causing the jaw pain, he or she can treat it. Don’t just tough it out. There is no need for that and it could lead to far more serious problems.
- According to the Canadian Dental Association, “48% of Canadians who haven’t seen a dentist in the past year have gum disease.”
11. Your Mouth has Spots and Sores
White or red splotches and sores that bleed and don’t heal can be symptoms of oral cancer. Do not put off seeing the dentist if you have any of these symptoms. Early detection and treatment is the best way to beat this disease.
12. It’s Time for Your Checkup
You need to see a dentist for a checkup at least every 6 to 12 months. Children should have their first checkup when they are about 1 years old. If there are any signs of trouble or other health problems, you may need to go in for a checkup more often. Ask your dentist when he or she wants to see you again and make your next appointment before you leave the office.