Going to the dentist is incredibly important, but it's also easy to ignore your oral health. There are many signs, however, that you should make a dental appointment. If you would like to know more, check out these four signs you need to visit the dentist.
1. It's Been Six Months
Typically, most people should have a dental exam/cleaning once every six months. However, if you have diabetes, you smoke, or you are pregnant, you may need to see the dentist more often. Conditions like diabetes and smoking affect your body's ability to naturally heal itself and being pregnant causes your body to lose nutrients like calcium. Luckily, if you have dental insurance, it usually covers them because they are considered preventative care.
During the dental cleaning, your dentist may take X-rays, which help monitor inside the teeth and below the gumline. X-rays do not need to be performed every six months, and insurance probably won't pay for them that frequently. After the X-rays, your dentist cleans and polishes your teeth. Depending on your oral health and age, they may measure your gum pockets to look for signs of gum disease.
2. You Have Tartar
Plaque is a sticky film that builds up on your teeth. You remove this plaque whenever you brush and floss, but if you skip a few days of brushing or don't brush thoroughly, plaque can harden into tartar. Tartar may appear white, yellow, or yellowish brown. If you spot tartar, it's time to visit the dentist.
The dentist uses a special scraper to remove the tartar. This process is delicate because they must remove the tartar without scratching the enamel. If you ignore tartar, it increases the risk of tooth decay, gum infection, and gum disease.
3. You Have Pain, Discomfort, or Sensitivity
Pain, discomfort, and sensitivity usually indicate something is wrong with your teeth, but there are many causes, including grinding, enamel loss, cavities, and tooth infections.
Grinding your teeth at night can wear down enamel or cause a crack, but the pressure alone from grinding can put a strain on the teeth, leading to pain during the day. Enamel loss and cracks/chips can also cause sensitivity, especially if you eat or drink something hot, cold, acidic, or sugary.
Cavities and tooth infections can cause severe pain, and if left untreated, they will continue to destroy the tooth. To treat the tooth, the destroyed tooth tissue must be removed. In the case of an infection, the dentist must also fight the bacterial infection.
4. Your Gums Bleed
If you rarely floss and experience bleeding when you do floss (with no other symptoms), you probably don't need to worry. However, if your gums bleed frequently, when you brush, etc., you may be developing gum disease.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection in the gums, and it causes gum recession, gum loss, and bone loss. At first, treatment is fast and easy. The symptoms even revert on their own. If left untreated, however, the gum tissue and bone tissue does not regrow, so you'll need tissue grafts.
Your family dentist can help keep your oral health in tip-top shape. If you have any of these symptoms, it's time to schedule an appointment. For more information, contact a family dental office, such as Bremen Family Dentistry, PC, in your area today.Share