Regular visits can help prevent many mouth problems, but there are times you might need to see your dentist sooner than your next checkup:
- You Have Pain
Pain or swelling in your mouth, face or neck can mean a number of things.
- Your Gums Are Acting Up
If your gums are puffy, they bleed when you brush or floss, or you have a family history of gum disease, it’s time to make an appointment.
- You Try to Hide Your Smile
Whether you’re self-conscious about a missing tooth or hoping for a brighter smile, don’t be shy about talking to your dentist.
- You’ve Had Work Done
If you have fillings, crowns, dental implants or dentures, see your dentist regularly to make sure everything is in great shape.
- You Have Ongoing Medical Issues
Make your dentist part of your team if you have a medical condition (such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eating disorders or are HIV positive), or you are undergoing medical treatment (such as radiation, chemotherapy or hormone replacement therapy).
- You’re Pregnant
It’s safe to go to the dentist while pregnant. In fact, pregnancy can make some dental problems worse, so don’t miss your regular checkup.
- You’re Having Trouble Eating
Difficulty chewing or swallowing is not the norm. Try eating soft or liquified foods until you can see your dentist.
- You Have Dry Mouth
Always feeling parched could be the sign of a medical issue or a medication side effect. Learn more about dry mouth >>
- You Use Any Kind of Tobacco
From bad breath to oral cancer, cigarettes and chewing tobacco are harmful to your overall and dental health.
- You’re Having Jaw Pain
Make an appointment if your jaw sometimes pops or is painful when opening and closing, chewing or when you first wake up. See a dentist also if you have an uneven bite.
- Your Mouth Has Spots and Sores
If there’s something that doesn’t look or feel right in your mouth, your dentist should examine any mouth sore that lasts a week or longer. Types of mouth sores include canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia and candidiasis. They vary in their severity and causes. Mouth sores could be the symptom of a disease or disorder; infection from bacteria, viruses or fungus or result from irritation caused by braces, dentures or the sharp edge of a broken tooth or filling.
- It’s Time For Your Checkup
Even if you don’t have any symptoms, checkups are important because they can help prevent problems from developing and treat existing symptoms before they become more advanced.