There are plenty of reasons why someone might put off going to the dentist. Insurance issues, means of travel, and even dental anxiety are all reasons why some might delay a dental visit, but many people simply may not know when to go to the dentist. Dental visits are an important part of both your oral and general healthcare, and there are plenty of reasons to go to the dentist for more than just your biannual checkup—some of which might be surprising. Let’s take a look at 7 situations when to see a dentist.
When Should You go to the Dentist?
If you’re wondering when is the best time to see a dentist, the simple answer is at least every six months. These simple checkups are one of the most effective preventive measures that you can take to diagnose and treat oral health problems before they get worse—which may require lengthy and expensive restorative dental care to treat. However, there are plenty of other issues you may experience that warrant a dental visit.
This is perhaps one of the most common reasons to visit a dentist. Toothaches can be a symptom of many different oral conditions—some more serious than others—and it’s unlikely that they will go away on their own. If you have persistent pain in your tooth or teeth, especially if it gets worse when eating or drinking something cold or hot, seeing your dentist is important to both relieve the pain via medication or immediate treatment, and to diagnose the underlying problem before it gets worse.
You Have a Bump or Other Growth on Your Gums That Won’t Go Away
Physical changes to the gums should always be taken seriously as they may be an early indicator of diseases like gingivitis, abscess, or even oral cancer. Things like hard bumps, swollen or tender areas, or discoloration in specific spots need to be examined by a dentist as soon as possible. Any oral disease stands the best chance of effective treatment with early detection, and your dentist is equipped to screen you for these symptoms.
Persistent Dry Mouth
While it doesn’t sound problematic at first, dry mouth can be both a symptom of an underlying condition and a cause of potentially serious issues in the mouth. Your saliva is constantly washing away harmful bacteria and protecting your teeth and gums. Without it, you may have an increased risk of cavities, oral infections, gum disease, halitosis, and more. Dry mouth can also be a symptom of other diseases that don’t necessarily affect the mouth, like diabetes. Only a dentist can diagnose your dry mouth and offer treatment.
Teeth That Are Loose, Chipped, or Cracked
Teeth that have been damaged due to physical trauma, a congenital defect, or decay are especially vulnerable. Damaged teeth can lead to pain, sensitivity, and infection of the tooth’s root—which may require root canal treatment or, in worst cases, full extraction. Even if you aren’t actively showing symptoms, it’s important to schedule a dental visit to have a loose, chipped, or damaged tooth inspected and potentially treated.
You Have Jaw Problems
Jaw pain can be caused by many different things, and not all are related to your teeth. Mental stress or anxiety, physical trauma, misaligned teeth, etc. are all potential causes of jaw pain. Seeing a dentist is the first step in narrowing down the causes of your symptoms, and id you need to see a specialist, your dentist can give you a referral to the appropriate physician.
It’s Been More Than Six Months Since Your Last Visit
Biannual dental visits are crucial for keeping your teeth clean from plaque buildup, identifying cavities, and keeping your gums free of disease. It can be tempting to put off seeing the dentist if you don’t feel like you have any symptoms of oral disease. Still, dentists are specially trained to diagnose potential oral health issues that are difficult to impossible spot through self-inspection alone.
Pregnancy puts the body through many changes, and people are surprised to learn that your teeth are no exception. Changes to the diet and hormones can cause oral problems during pregnancy, and if you already have issues like cavities or require treatment like root canal therapy, it’s crucial that the treatment be performed early in the pregnancy. Certain treatments aren’t suitable for late-stage pregnancy, meaning that any existing problems will continue to worsen over the course of the pregnancy and there will come a time when treatment won’t be possible until after the baby is born.
You’d Like To Change Your Smile
Cosmetic Dentistry treatments are completely valid reasons to go to the dentist. Cosmetic dentistry can correct physical defects that are uncomfortable or incompatible with your lifestyle, and create stronger, healthier teeth. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with just wanting a straighter, whiter smile!
Our Practice Is Built Around Your Smile
Dental visits are a crucial part of family dental care, and you should always feel empowered to call and make an appointment if you or a family member are experiencing one of the above problems, have questions about your treatment, or would simply like more information about keeping your smile healthy. Spanish Springs Family Dentistry is always ready to help, and our experienced team of professionals will walk you through every step of the process—from that initial phone call, to treatment, to prompt and accurate billing. If you need a dental visit, call Spanish Springs Family Dentistry today!