Visiting a dentist every six months or at least annually can ensure that your mouth and gums are always clean and healthy. A dentist can examine your teeth and take x-rays to look for cavities and other serious conditions, and get these treated as soon as possible.
However, you may need to see a dentist in between these visits for certain treatment, and ignoring some commonly overlooked signs of needed dental care can lead to serious complications. In some cases you may even be at risk for tooth loss. Note a few of those signs so you know when you need to see a dentist in between regular checkups.
1. Inflammation or bleeding of the gums
If you get certain foods stuck between your teeth then your gums might bleed, and you may be too vigorous when you brush and floss which can also lead to inflammation and bleeding of the gums. However, if there is no obvious cause of this occurring, you need to see a dentist. This is often a sign of gum disease or of an oral infection. If ignored, the infection can travel to any part of your body and get worse, and gum disease can mean cavities, tooth decay, and even eventual tooth loss.
2. Unexplained pain
If someone hits you in the mouth or you smack your mouth against a door, then of course you'll have pain around your teeth and gums. Unexplained pain, however, should be checked out be a dentist, especially if it gets worse or remains persistent. This could be caused by gum disease, decayed teeth or cavities, or damage to the pulp of the teeth that is below the tooth surface. Ignoring any of these problems can lead to tooth loss or the need for a root canal, which is when that soft tissue of the tooth is actually removed.
3. Loose teeth
When a tooth is loose, you don't want to ignore this and assume it will just heal on its own. This can mean you need a root canal or that the tooth is very decayed. When one tooth is decayed, the germs and bacteria it holds can spread to other teeth and in turn, they too can start to decay and cavities can start to form. Teeth also fit snugly next to each other for support, and if you were to lose one, you are then at greater risk of losing even more teeth. Have a dentist examine your loose tooth so he or she can treat it and possibly save it from actually falling out.