How Do You Know it’s Time to See the Dentist?
We all know how important our teeth are. And, if you’ve been paying attention, you know that you should schedule regular checkups for yourself and your loved ones at least once a month, even when your teeth and gums are in peak health.
But sometimes problems can creep in between our checkups, too. Maybe you notice that your teeth are more sensitive than you remember, or detect a whiff of bad breath more often than you’d like. It might be something as simple as jaw pain. Any of these can be a sign that you should reach out to your dentist and set up a timely appointment.
Here are a few indicators to watch for, courtesy of The Bondi Dentists:
1. Bleeding Gums
In most cases, bleeding gums result from flossing or brushing too hard. So, if you see the occasional blood mixed in the toothpaste, no need to start worrying. However, if your gums bleed regularly and your mouth and gums are tender, it may be a sign of an issue. Bacterial plaque that has not been cleaned off our teeth can infect our gums over time, can infect our gums over time, leading first to swelling or soreness, and later to gingivitis or gum disease if left unchecked.
2. Sores in the Mouth
Most mouth ulcers or sores will heal up on their own in about 7 to 14 days and do not require attention from a dental professional. However, in some instances they can be persistent and may be caused by viral or fungal infection. As an example: Whitish-coloured sores on the gums, tongue, or inside the cheeks can be an indicator of another condition – leukoplakia, a disease that accompanies increased risk of cancer.
3. Pain in the Jaw
Jaw pain can arise from multiple causes. Many people suffer jaw pain due to a tendency to grind their teeth in their sleep. A dental professional can make a custom mouth guard to protect the teeth at night. A host of other issues can be involved with jaw pain as well, including toothaches, sinus issues, or a misaligned TMJ. If you experience jaw pain regularly, your dentist in Bondi will be able to help you identify the source of the pain and relieve the problem.
4. Sensitive Teeth
If your teeth are sensitive, you’re most likely to notice it with temperature. Hot or cold foods or drinks can be agony for some. Often, sensitivity results from tooth-whitening toothpastes or mouthwashes. But there are other issues which might cause it as well, including tooth decay, receding gums, erosion of the enamel, or a leaky filling. Make sure to check with your dentist if the sensitivity persists more than a few days.
5. Bad Breath
We all get bad breath from time to time. It can result from food residue, tobacco products, or hunger. However, if you deal with it chronically, then it can be a sign of tooth decay, gum disease, or other dental issues. Your dentists will help you to find out the cause and give tips on how best to treat it.
6. Tooth Ache
Here’s the killer. Hands up everyone who’s never had a toothache…
You’re the lucky ones.
Tooth pain might be the most excruciating sensation in the world, if it gets bad enough. So, if you’ve dealt with a major toothache, you know that reaching out to a dentist – or anyone who can make the pain stop – becomes your first and only priority. Minor aches can be caused by a number of things, including an abnormal bite, teeth grinding, gum disease, or infections. Remember that most of these issues won’t heal themselves and will likely worsen if untreated, so it’s best to address them with your dentist as soon as you can.
7. Discoloured or Stained Teeth
Our smile is one of the first things that most people will see about us, so it’s important to keep it healthy and bright. And, whether it’s from coffee, tea, tobacco, or red wine, we all deal with stains from time to time. If you notice discolouration on your teeth, then it’s time for a checkup and professional cleaning. Not only will this boost your confidence and self-esteem, it’ll also save you a later trip to the dentist for cosmetic dentistry to restore your smile.
If you’d like to know more or it’s time to schedule a checkup, feel free to contact us. At The Bondi Dentists, your smile is our priority.