Hiding from your dental exam? Here’s how to tell whether it’s time to schedule
Wondering whether it’s time to head back into the office? Chances are, if you’re not sure when you last stepped through our doors, it’s time to check in. We understand if you struggle with dental anxiety or have other factors that keep you out of the office, but there are certain signs that should get you to schedule right away. Find some of these alarm bells below, and get in touch if it’s time for a visit.
Signs Your Teeth Are in Need of An Exam
Teeth are looking yellow – This can mean plaque buildup and poor oral hygiene. A teeth cleaning will help remove external stains and eliminate plaque for a fresh start.
Gums are swollen or bleed easily – These are symptoms of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is simple to treat, and can be improved with better brushing and flossing. But gum disease is much more invasive, and can require complex and ongoing treatment – keep an eye on your gums and respond to changes early.
Bad breath – Bad breath can be a sign of gum disease, when there’s an increased presence of bacteria in the mouth. It can also signify a cavity. Either way, it merits attention.
Pain – Whenever you’re feeling pain, that’s a sign that something is probably wrong. If you have a sore tooth or sore jaw, get in touch right away.
Receding gums – Your gums can recede for a few different reasons; this might be related to gum disease, or it could be an effect of long-term teeth grinding. But your gums are incredibly valuable and support your teeth – too much recession could lead to tooth loss. Act now to preserve your gums.
You can’t remember when you had your last appointment – It’s probably been too long since you visited! The general recommendation is that we visit the dentist every 6 months. This accommodates the amount of time it typically takes for cavities and gingivitis to develop, and gives you a chance to take action before they get serious. Some patients should visit more often, especially if they have a history of periodontal disease or have a high risk of developing it. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re typically cavity-free and in good health, you can probably get away with one exam each year. Ask us which category you fall into to check.