Most people are aware that they should visit their dentist, but not everyone knows exactly when to make the call. Aside from routine visits, there may also be times when seeing your dentist as soon as possible is necessary. Often, neglecting treatment when it’s needed the most could lead to tooth loss and potential threats (or increased risks) to your systemic health. If you notice signs that might indicate a dental issue, or if you experience an emergency such as a broken tooth, then it is definitely time to visit your dentist as soon as possible.
Every Six Months Or So
Regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential to good oral health care. On average, six months is the most commonly recommended time between appointments. Every visit allows your dentist the chance to thoroughly check for signs of trouble, and your hygienist to thoroughly clean plaque and tartar from your teeth.
When Your Teeth Hurt
If your toothache is serious, then you might not need prompting to call your dentist. If it’s only mild, however, you might hesitate, wondering if the problem really warrants a trip to the dentist’s office. When your teeth hurt, it could mean that one or more of them are damaged, or have had the enamel stripped/weakened around them. If tooth sensitivity persists, then the underlying issue can grow worse.
When Your Tooth Breaks
A cracked or broken tooth not only hurts; it can also damage soft oral tissues with its jagged edges, and allow infection to reach the supportive structures of underneath your teeth. Even if it doesn’t hurt at first, you should recover any pieces that may been broken off of your tooth and schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately.
When Your Gums Bleed
If you notice a bit of pink mixed in with your saliva and toothpaste when you brush your teeth, then chances are that your gums are bleeding slightly, which indicates the early onset of gingivitis and gum disease. If treated early enough, gum disease may be reversed, or at least successfully controlled. If your gums become red, swollen, and angry-looking, and they bleed occasionally, then schedule an appointment soon to determine if gum disease is present.