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5 Red Flags That’ll Make You Want to See Your Dentist

When your mother used to tell you that you need to visit your dentist, she was serious. Dental health problems are often times overlooked because people think they are just simple problems that will go away by brushing their teeth. However, regular brushing is only a preventive measure that may provide little to no help if a dental problem occurs. In fact, even if you’ve been brushing and flossing since you were a child, you’ll still need a dentist to help get rid of the tartar and plaque build-up to prevent tooth decay. Work is a routine we all have to live with everyday. Waking up early, keeping up with deadlines, and communicating with our boss are all part of the life of a working person. While doing all these things, dental health is often not on the list of priorities. For many people, they don’t seek dental care until the  problem or pain is unbearable and is affecting their daily routine. At this point, since they waited so long, the needed dental treatment may be larger than it needed to be. That’s why it’s important to see a dentist when you start to see signs of potential issues. Visiting a dentist is not a daily thing, not even weekly. The return on your invested time will definitely make a difference for the future of your dental health. If you're one of those people who ignore dental appointments, you better start checking if your oral health is still in good condition because if you wait too long, you might have a more painful and costly dental experience waiting for you. Visit your dentist as soon as possible if you experience one or more of the following:

1. Toothache

One of the childhood nightmares we’ve all experienced is having a really bad toothache, much more as an adult. Once the pain strikes, it's impossible to ignore; but the toothache is not the main problem. It’s only a symptom telling you there might be more you should be concerned about. Tooth aches usually happen when the pulp chamber is affected by tooth decay. As the bacteria breaks down the physical structure of the teeth, it goes deeper into the center and eventually reaching the pulp chamber. The nerves of your tooth are found in this area, which explains the pain. For more info about this check out this article written by The American Dental Association.

2. Swollen Gums

There is no better time to see your dentist than when you see your gums swollen. Unlike toothache, swollen gums give you less chances of experiencing pain, but that doesn't mean it won't give you problems. Poor oral hygiene will lead to plaque and tartar which usually build up near your gums, but sometimes it can accumulate and harden inside your gums. When this happens, you are more likely to experience tooth loss because the gums are not healthy enough to hold it. The space created by the plaque that form inside your gums will loosen the teeth and can lead to more complicated problems in the future. If left untreated, you might suffer tooth loss.

3. White Spots on Teeth

White spots are the early signs of dental decay. The white material is actually a portion of your tooth that is slowly losing its enamel resulting to a whiter color. Tooth enamel is a vital part of having healthy and strong teeth, and is known to be the hardest tissue of the human body. Aside from being a cosmetic concern, not many people know that it is the early onset of dental decay. There are no apparent symptoms or pain as the lesions show, and that is why regular dental visits are encouraged.

4. Too much sensitivity

Sensitive teeth and gums prevents you from enjoying cold or hot treats. Whether or not you can enjoy your favorite food is not really the question. Why did you have sensitive teeth in the first place? A heightened sensitivity to hot or cold could be a sign of dental decay. When the bacteria eats up the protective covering of your crowns, the nerves become exposed to temperature causing it to react giving you a tingling sensation. The danger of tooth sensitivity won’t be  obvious in the early stages. Bacteria may be starting to consume the calcium on your teeth without you knowing it! You may not start to feel that sensitivity until the bacteria arrives at a deeper level making it difficult to resolve. However, teeth sensitivity does not always mean dental decay and dental decay does not always come with sensitivity. Since there is a wide range of diagnoses, regular dental check-up should be exercised. This can help you monitor your dental health with recommendations of a dental professional.

5. Bad Breath

Bad breath is a major turn off. It doesn't only keep people away, but it also shows a negative image of your dental hygiene. Halitosis is the unpleasant odor that comes from your mouth that occurs periodically or persistently, depending on the cause. It is normal to experience "morning breath" and is not really a dental concern. This happens when the saliva, a leading agent that washes away bacteria and food particles, diminishes at night while you sleep. It may also be a sign of gingivitis that will eventually lead to tooth loss if ignored. However, bad breath is not always a dental problem. Sometimes, it is a sign that you may have a systemic illness that you are unaware of such as diabetes, kidney disease, or lung disease. A dental specialist knows when bad breath is an oral hygiene problem or not. She may recommend you to a specialist in case it is something more severe. Who would have thought that going to the dentist can literally save your life? Not all of us are willing to schedule an appointment to see the dentist, but if you don’t do this as often as required, you may end up going when your dental problem is in a severe state. Therefore, it's a question of whether you want to protect your teeth as early as now or postpone it and be sorry in the future. What choice will you make?