If you don’t brush and floss your teeth often enough, bacteria can form plaque and harden into tartar, becoming impossible to remove with your toothbrush. If you spend too much time away from the dentist’s office, these bacteria can cause serious issues like tooth decay and gum disease. A lot can happen in the time between your teeth cleaning and checkup appointments. Yet, if you pay close attention to your teeth and gums, you might notice when it’s time to visit the dentist as soon as possible.

What to Watch For

During your routine checkup and cleaning, Dr. Villani will thoroughly inspect your teeth, gums, and oral tissues for hints that something is wrong before thoroughly cleaning your teeth of plaque and tartar. Some of the earliest symptoms, like enamel erosion that leads to cavities or minor inflammation that affects healthy gum tissues, might not be easily detected with the naked eye. In some cases, though, you might notice slight symptoms that Dr. Villani warns not to ignore.

Slightly Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common dental symptoms, but many people don’t consider it an issue until the toothache becomes more prominent. When your teeth begin to feel things they shouldn’t, like a twinge when you drink something hot or cold, it typically means that the enamel around them is growing weak, or the layer of the tooth closer to the pulp (nerve) is exposed. If ignored, the enamel will become compromised, and bacteria will slip past it, infecting the tooth and leaving a cavity in their wake.

Darkening of Your Teeth

In many cases, teeth stains are just that—stains—and don’t indicate a serious health concern. Sometimes, however, a tooth can begin to change color from within (intrinsic discoloration), and might warn of an internal infection.

Tender, Red, and/or Bleeding Gums

When gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, begins to develop, your gums can become red and swollen, and in rare cases, become tender. One of the most obvious signs, though, is bleeding; if you notice a little blood mixed in with your saliva when you brush and floss your teeth, then your gums may need immediate attention to prevent the destruction of gum disease.


Brighton Family Dental Group is located in Brighton MA. Featuring experienced dentists and an excellent range of in-office treatments, Brighton Family Dental Group is a great destination for any member of your family who is in need of dental care. Patients can schedule an appointment or a consultation with Dr. Thomas Villani by calling (617) 562-5210.