It may come as a surprise, but even prior to the pandemic, a significant portion of the American population, around one-third, went without dental care.
Various factors can contribute to individuals neglecting dental checkups, such as anxiety, limited time, or embarrassment about their dental state.
However, it is worth noting that dental professionals have encountered oral conditions far worse than what we may perceive in ourselves. A good dentist will not judge or criticize, but instead provide support as we strive to improve our dental health.
In this article, we will discuss some signs that indicate you need to see your dentist
Six Indications It’s Time to See Your Dentist
1. You’re in Constant Pain
Pain in your mouth, face, or neck is abnormal and can mean several things, including infection or TMJ disorder and is a clear indicator its time to see your dentist. The pain may be limited to one tooth or be more widespread. The location, duration, and severity are all important things to note. In fact, I encourage my patients to keep a log, as this is always better than recalling what and when things happened after the fact. These details are all instrumental in making a proper diagnosis.
2. Your Gums are Bleeding
Bleeding gums = infection. That simple. Usually, bleeding gums are easy to correct and return you to a state of health. You would not expect it to bleed if you touched the skin on the back of your hand. If it does, you probably would run to your physician. The same applies to the mouth. Healthy gums do not spontaneously bleed while eating or during brushing.
3. You Don’t Smile
If you’re self-conscious about missing a tooth or the color of your teeth that can be fixed, whether one tooth or multiple teeth, the fixes available today are truly amazing. Whether you are wearing an old denture or your natural teeth have taken a beating through decades of life, there are good options for you. New treatments and variations of existing ones are always
appearing in the professional literature.
4. You’ve Had Work Done
Many people think that they are good to go once they’ve had work done in their mouths. These thoughts are incorrect. We need to see you routinely to ensure that nothing breaks down over time and that no bacteria are getting in and causing infections. Regular cleanings and checkups are keys to maintaining optimal health.
5. You’re Having Trouble Eating
Difficulty chewing or swallowing is not normal, so don’t brush it off (sorry for the pun). I saw a patient yesterday who no longer chews on her left side. Whenever she eats anything slightly cold or hot, she must shift the food to a different area of her mouth in her tooth. A painful tooth can be a major game changer when trying to enjoy life. If you feel this applies to you, please see a professional as soon as possible. These unpleasant sensations can be the start of a much more serious problem.
6. You Use Tobacco
Tobacco is harmful to your mouth as well as your overall health. Gum disease is directly related to gum disease and oral cancer. We can also recommend smoking cessation if you are ready for the next step in your journey to excellent health.
Schedule a Visit to See Your Dentist
Oral health and good-looking teeth greatly benefit general demeanor and interaction with family members and friends. In the 21st century, there is no good reason for someone not to have a functional and attractive dentition. If you have put off a professional visit for whatever reason, now is the time to turn that thinking around and do something for yourself.
Please call Joyce at 440-892-1810, and schedule a free appointment. As always, I look forward to meeting you.
Jeffrey Gross, DDS, FAGD, is an Ohio-licensed general dentist and is on the staff of Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine.