Are you not certain how long it has been since you last visited the dentist? The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist once every six months for a regular check-up. However, there are certain signs that may indicate you should go right away, regardless of your six-month schedule. Here are just a few of the signs that may indicate it is time to book your appointment.
1. Your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold.
Does it hurt every time you try to take a bite of ice cream or eat hot soup? If so, you might be experiencing tooth decay. The plaque on your teeth releases harmful acids that wear away your dental enamel, exposing the dentin layer beneath. This layer of your tooth is comprised of tiny, microscopic tunnels that lead directly to the nerve within your teeth. With the dentin layer exposed, the hot and cold foods you eat are able to access your nerve directly, making it quite painful. While, unfortunately, your dental enamel cannot grow back, it can be repaired by our dentists at Oradent Associates.
2. Your gums bleed when you floss.
Have you ever experienced bleeding in the gums when you brush or floss? Many people mistake this for a normal result of accidentally flossing too hard. However, this actually is a warning sign of gingivitis—the earliest stage of gum disease. It is very important that you visit the dentist as soon as possible when experiencing these symptoms, as gum disease is easier to treat when caught early.
3. If you’re pregnant.
Pregnancy can actually impact your teeth in quite a few ways. You may find that you experience dry mouth which, because of a lack of saliva, can make it difficult to speak and swallow. Also, your dental enamel can erode as a result of morning sickness, so it is important to maintain a thorough dental hygiene routine. If you’ve experienced any symptoms of gum disease, be certain to have a dentist look at it right away—gum disease can lead to complications with premature birth. For all of these reasons, be certain to have a dentist check in on your oral health while you’re expecting!
4. If your jaw pops or hurts in the morning.
If your jaw hurts fairly regularly in the mornings, it is possible that you are grinding your teeth in your sleep. This can be caused by stress, certain medications, sleep disorders, misaligned teeth, and more. It is critical that you have this taken care of straight away, as grinding your teeth can lead to stress fractures and TMJ problems down the road.
5. If you struggle to chew or swallow.
Did you know that 10 percent of people suffer from dry mouth? If your salivary glands do not produce enough saliva, it can ultimately lead to issues with infection, tooth decay, bad breath, and more! There are any number of reasons that xerostomia (dry mouth) could be occurring, such as certain medications. Regardless of the root cause, though, Oradent Associates can help alleviate the problem.
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, be certain to call Oradent Associates straight away to schedule your appointment!