5 Signs that Show you Need to Go to the Dentist
People can be quick to go to the doctor for a cough or cold, but less people are as quick to go to the dentist when there is something wrong with their teeth or mouth.
The American Dental Association has estimated that 100 million Americans do not go to the dentist on a yearly basis. On average, you should be visiting the dentist every six months. This is to ensure you have optimum oral health. Dentist visits involve dental exams that can identify dental conditions before they become serious problems; they provide an opportunity to receive dental advice, and a professional cleaning. Catching the early signs of a condition is very important in being able to treat the condition quickly and effectively. Dental cleanings also play a big role in maintaining your dental health by preventing common conditions, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
You should make an appointment to see your dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms as they could be a precursor to more serious conditions. These symptoms can also be embarrassing or uncomfortable on their own, so the best thing to do is seek professional help to treat any of these ailments.
Symptoms that tell you to go to the Dentist:
- Sores and tender areas in the mouth that do not heal can be an indicator for health issues such as diabetes. People with diabetes have difficulty with wounds healing due to their condition.
- If the sore does not heal in a week or two, you should have it checked by a dentist. Mouth sores can also be a sign of oral cancer. These sores normally take the form of red or white lesions.
- Bleeding or swollen gums are signs of gum disease, which needs to be treated as soon as possible to minimize the damage done to the gums and teeth. These signs are caused by high levels of bacteria in the mouth that cause an infection. According to the American Dental Association, half of all adults older than age 30 have gum disease.
- Chronic bad breath can be a sign of gum disease or tooth decay. Normally, bad breath can be prevented through keeping hydrated, avoiding certain spices, maintaining good oral hygiene and chewing sugar-free gum. However, bad breath that does not disappear no matter what you try needs to be seen to by a dentist.
- Sudden, unexpected increased sensitivity in the mouth can be the result of a dental abscess or a bacterial infection. If your sensitivity is accompanied by severe toothache, facial swelling, a fever, or tender lymph nodes, you should seek medical attention immediately. This type of infection can not be left untreated as it could be life threatening. Sensitivity can also indicate the thinning of tooth enamel or the formation of a cavity.
- Any type of pain in the mouth or facial area that does not eventually subside is a very common indicator that there is an issue. Recurring pain and discomfort needs to be addressed by a dentist.
Additional symptoms you should pay attention to:
- ear pain
- jaw swelling
- numbness in the tongue or throat area
- trouble moving the jaw or tongue
- trouble swallowing