When it comes to visiting the dentist, we know at least twice a year is the recommendation. We know gums that are bleeding are not a good sign. We also know that tooth pain means you should see a dentist as soon as possible. But what are some other signs or symptoms you may be experiencing that should signal it’s time for you to visit the dentist. Here are 6 to consider…
- You’ve quit smoking or chewing tobacco.
Congratulations! Quitting tobacco is important for your overall health, and is great for oral health as well. A dentist visit after quitting tobacco use allows your dentist to check your full mouth with a cancer screening, such as OralID. They will also check your teeth and gums for any signs of gum disease and help you create a plan of action to achieve a happy, healthy mouth.
- You have diabetes.
Patients with both Type I and Type II Diabetes have a higher chance of gingivitis and periodontitis than those without. In fact, researchers are working to discover which one is comes first, as they seem to go hand in hand. Healthy glucose levels and good oral hygiene is important for a diabetic, and the health of their mouth.
- You are pregnant.
A major shift in hormone levels can create changes to your oral health. Many pregnant women discover their normally healthy gums may start appearing red, swollen, or even bleeding when brushing. This isn’t anything to be worried about and you should keep up with your good dental habits, but a visit to the dentist is a good idea.
Plan on a visit to the dentist in your first or second trimester for comfort. Be prepared to talk about any morning sickness (frequent vomiting can erode your enamel), and problems with your gums.
- You wake up with headaches frequently
If you go to sleep feeling well, but are waking with headaches, you could be unknowingly grinding or clenching your teeth at night. You may also notice soreness in your jaw when you chew your first meal of the day. Jaw misalignment, TMJ, or grinding can all be discussed at your next dentist visit.
Your dentist can offer suggestions and solutions, such as mouth guards, to reduce headaches, realign your jaw, and protect your teeth from excessive wear.
- You were recently diagnosed with acid reflux.
GERD and acid reflux can cause stomach acids to climb up the esophagus, sometimes as far as the mouth. This can result in unusual tooth erosion and other periodontal problems. Seeing your dentist can allow you to create an action plan to limit damage and even save teeth.
- You can’t kick that bad taste in your mouth.
An odor or bad taste that doesn’t go away, even after brushing, can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a saliva gland infection. Frequently, persistent bad breath can also be caused by dry mouth or uncontrolled bacteria. Your dentist can advise you based on your lifestyle, and offer some solutions.