Ideally you should visit your dentist every six months to get regular cleanings and ensure that all is healthy in your mouth. Many adults don’t follow through with this bi-yearly commitment, and some even put off dental check-ups for years. Here are five signs that you’ve put off your dental check-up for too long.
Tooth pain is hard to ignore. It can be excruciating and can go from bad to worse in a matter of hours or days. Whether you’re experiencing tooth pain, jaw pain, or sometimes even neck or face pain, these are indications that something could be wrong in your mouth. A toothache could be something as simple as a cavity, or it could be something serious such as tooth decay. The pain could be a result of grinding your teeth or periodontal disease. Any oral pain you’re experiencing needs to be checked out by your dentist.
2. Inflamed or Bleeding Gums
If you regularly brush too hard and see blood often, you may be seeing signs of periodontal disease, or gum disease. Inflamed gums are gums that look puffy or are swollen outwards from your tooth line, and they could be red and irritated. If you have swollen or bleeding gums, you’ve put your dental check-up off for too long. Untreated, periodontal disease will cause your gums to pull back from your teeth, exposing tooth roots, causing pain, sensitivity, and eventually, tooth loss.
3. Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
Tooth sensitivity isn’t normal, and you should not be experiencing any pain in your mouth. When your teeth are overly sensitive to hot and cold, it usually means that your enamel has worn down (for various reasons such as brushing too hard or eating too much sugar) and the nerve of your tooth is exposed. This exposure of the “pulp” of your tooth can be very painful and cause problems. If you struggle with tooth sensitivity or if your sensitivity is increasing, visit your dentist.
4. Sores That Won’t Heal
Canker sores are normal for some people, and maybe you have a canker sore or another type of sore that won’t go away. Any type of sore in your mouth that won’t heal should be checked out by your dentist. Our mouths are relatively quick healers, even with something as painful as a canker sore, so if you have a wound in your mouth that isn’t healing, get yourself to the dentist.
If you experience headaches regularly, you’ve probably put off your dental check-up for too long. Headaches can be indicative of teeth grinding, which is not something you want to make a habit of. Many people are unaware that they grind their teeth and it can often happen in our sleep or times of stress. Teeth grinding can put extra unnecessary pressure on the nerves of your teeth, which could irritate them and lead to gum inflammation. Your dentist can usually tell just by looking at your teeth if you are a grinder.
Dental check-ups are important for people of all ages, not just the old and the young. Your teeth will need to last you for life, so take care of them and visit your dentist bi-yearly to ensure that your teeth, gums, and jaw are healthy.