7 Signs That It’s Time to See Your Dentist

dental office with dentists

Going to the dentist can seem intimidating, especially if it’s been awhile. But your teeth are an important part of your body, and believe it or not, they affect your overall health. Maintaining your teeth with good dental hygiene and regular check-ups will help keep them healthy and strong for years to come. A general rule of thumb is that you should visit your dentist at least twice a year, but sometimes, it might be necessary to go sooner. Here are 7 reasons to see your dentist in between regular appointments:

  1. Tooth pain

Toothaches can result from infections, gum disease, teeth grinding or an abnormal bite, so any sort of tooth pain requires a visit to the dentist. Tooth pain will not go away on its own, and if left too long without a professional evaluation and treatment, the pain can get worse and cause serious consequences.

  1. Loose teeth

If you’re long past visits from the tooth fairy, loose teeth are sign of a serious dental problem. Loose teeth can be caused by untreated gum disease, or in some cases trauma, such as being hit in the mouth at a sporting event. Quick intervention is crucial to increase the odds of saving your tooth.

  1. Sensitive teeth

Some people have naturally sensitive teeth, but if you’ve noticed sudden sensitivity when sipping hot or cold drinks, it could be a sign of receding gums, enamel erosion, tooth decay, or a broken filling. Tooth sensitivity can also be the result of something less serious, like brushing too hard or using whitening toothpastes or harsh mouthwashes, but it’s best to consult your dentist just in case.

  1. Bleeding gums

Seeing a little pink in the sink is one of the first signs of gum disease. If your gums bleed even during brushing, or if they are bright red or swollen, you should see your dentist right away. Gum disease is treatable, but if left too long, it can have a negative impact not just on your teeth but on your overall health.

  1. Chronic bad breath

Occasional bad breath from pungent food and drinks (we’re looking at you, garlic and coffee) is normal and not a reason for concern. But if your bad breath is persistent and doesn’t go away with brushing, mouthwash, gum, or mints, there could be an oral health issue. Gum disease is the most common culprit. Your dentist can help pinpoint the cause and treat it so you can socialize with confidence once again.

  1. Mouth sores

Like bad breath, the occasional mouth sore (or canker sore) is nothing to be worried about. But if you have sores that don’t go away on their own, or if you have several on the gums, tongue, or inside of your cheeks, it could be a sign of a fungal or viral infection. Also, if the sore is more of a lump or bump, it could be an early sign of cancer, so it’s important to get screened right away.

  1. Receding gums

Gum recession happens when the gum tissue surrounding the teeth wears away and exposes more of the tooth, creating a pocket in your gums that can allow bacteria to build up and lead to cavities. Receding gums can be caused by periodontal disease, genetics, or even aggressive tooth brushing, so it’s important to bring it to your dentist’s attention if you think your gums may be receding.  

Don’t wait to treat serious dental problems

Early intervention with basic dental procedures can save you a lot of pain, time, and money in the long run. If you’ve experienced any of the signs above, schedule an dental appointment sooner rather than later. If you’re looking for a dentist in San Diego, we can help. San Diego Dental Specialty Center offers an expert team of dental professionals, including the best cosmetic dentists in San Diego. We can help keep your smile healthy and strong. Give us a call at(619) 263-6683 or fill out our contact form today.