When to Visit a Dental Clinic

It's typically recommended that adults visit their dentist at least annually, if not twice per year. Those with special risk factors or dental needs may need to increase their visits; smokers, someone with worn tooth enamel, and others should visit their dentist more often as recommended.

However, many adults put off seeing a dentist for as long as possible and may not have a dentist they visit regularly. They may rely on a dental clinic for when they know they absolutely must have their teeth checked. If this sounds like you, note when it's good to visit a dental clinic and don't ignore any of these symptoms, as doing so may put your oral health at greater risk.

1. When you start avoiding using certain teeth for chewing

Your mouth may naturally move food around as you chew, in order to use the back molars for larger pieces of food and so that you can fully enjoy the flavor of foods as you eat. Some people may notice that they actually start to avoid certain teeth or areas of the mouth while chewing, not to naturally move the food around but because those teeth seem sore and painful. You may also be avoiding sore gums or areas of the cheeks when you chew.

This is often a sign of tooth decay, cavities, damage to the teeth, gum disease, or another condition that is causing pain or discomfort. Your mouth might naturally start to avoid that area when chewing to keep it from being irritated, even if don't notice constant, consistent pain. It's good to have a dentist check out this issue to note if you need a cavity filled or are developing gum disease, so you can have these treated as soon as possible.

2. When you have a persistent bad taste in your mouth

An acidic taste in your mouth can be caused by acid reflux disease, where the stomach acids come back up into the esophagus. If this acid reaches your mouth, this can cause that bad taste and also cause damage to the tooth enamel. You should also have this condition checked out by your doctor because it can damage the esophagus. Other bad tastes may be caused by poor oral hygiene which in turn can mean tooth decay and the risk of gum disease. Whatever the cause for persistent bad tastes in the mouth, it's good to have an exam by a dentist to ensure your teeth are protected.