While most adults know that they should see a dentist at least once per year, many adults actually avoid going to the dentist for as long as possible. They may not have dental insurance to cover the cost or may not understand the need for preventative care.
While it is certainly your decision as to how often you visit the dentist for a checkup, you might want to think about some signs that it's time to see a dentist as soon as possible. These symptoms often mean that you have a dental problem that can affect your overall oral health, and they shouldn't be ignored. Note the following.
1. Chronic halitosis
Halitosis or bad breath is not uncommon and is often caused by food particles that are decaying in the mouth. A good brushing and flossing can address this problem, but if you notice that you have severe halitosis or that it never seems to go away, it's time to visit a dentist. This can be caused by tooth decay, an oral infection or infected tonsils, and even by a digestive disorder such as acid reflux disease.
You may also have chronic dry mouth; saliva helps to wash away germs, bacteria, and food particles, so when your mouth is dry and these cling to the teeth and gums, you may get bad breath. All of these conditions can be very unhealthy for your mouth and gums, so it's good to visit a doctor if you notice you have chronic halitosis that doesn't get fixed when you brush.
2. Severe sensitivity to hot or cold foods
A severe sensitivity to hot or cold foods often means that the enamel of your teeth has eroded so that the nerves of the tooth are exposed. If the enamel of your teeth is eroded, this puts you at greater risk for cavities and even for chipped and broken teeth, since the enamel protects teeth and makes them stronger. Your dentist may be able to put a protective coating on the teeth that will keep them strong and which takes the place of the enamel.
3. Pain in the jaw when you wake up
If you have pain in the hinge of the jaw when you wake up, this often means that you are grinding your teeth at night. This pressure throughout the night is what is causing the pain, but you can actually cause tooth erosion with this grinding. A dentist in town should examine your teeth for signs of erosion or damage and then fit you with a bite guard you can wear at night.Share
1 June 2015
When I had my first child, I was a nervous wreck. Every book I read gave different advice, and I just wanted to be right! By the time I had my third child, some of the stress had abated. I now realised, there were tons of different perspectives on everything related to raising children including dentistry. To help parents, I have created this blog dedicated to unraveling dental myths about children. I am including posts that weigh both sides of issues such as thumb sucking, dental caries, breastfeeding, flossing and any other topic I can think of. I hope you find the information you need to unravel dental myths, but most importantly, I hope you find some peace of mind. With kids and dentistry, there can be more than one right answer, and I want you to be able to relax and go with the answer that's right for you.