You might think that you don’t need your family dentist to perform a professional dental checkup or cleaning unless you have poor oral hygiene. However, the truth is that some bacteria remain in your mouth regardless of your brushing routine. Since oral bacteria are linked to poorer health and the development of gum disease, it’s important to look out for these five key signs that it’s time for a dental checkup.
1. You see tartar on your teeth
If plaque is not fully removed from your teeth, the bacteria in your mouth will eventually mineralize into tartar. This hard, whitish substance can usually be seen where your teeth meet your gums, and it can undermine the appearance of a healthy smile. Tartar difficult to get rid of at home, but if you make a dentist appointment for a professional cleaning then your teeth can be restored to their former appearance.
2. You are worried about tooth decay
Whether you are concerned about a painful tooth or have a history of problems with tooth decay, you should be scheduling regular checkups and cleanings. Typically, when one has a cavity there are no symptoms until “it is too late”. Simple small cavities in teeth can be repaired quickly by your dentist with little out of pocket expense. However, if you wait until it hurts, the treatment will likely require a root canal and a crown which will take several visits and be accompanied by significant financial expenditure.
3. You have bad breath
While bad breath can be caused by a number of medications, infections and chronic health problems, if you think you are in generally good health then bad breath is probably a sign that you need a dental checkup and teeth cleaning. When bacteria on your teeth mix with your saliva in order to break down food residue, an unpleasant gas is produced. Even if you regularly brush your teeth to keep bacteria to a minimum, you may need a professional dental cleaning if you noticed that your breath smells foul. A bad taste in your mouth may also indicate a chronic dental infection that requires your dentist’s attention.
4. You notice the symptoms of gum disease
When you have too much bacteria in your mouth, you can start to develop gingivitis (i.e. gum disease). You may experience gum pain and see inflamed patches when you look in the mirror. Gums that bleed after brushing or flossing should always prompt you to consider gum disease, and if you are to stop it from worsening then you’ll need to call your dentist for a cleaning. Periodontal disease occurs in 47% of Americans over the age of 30! Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss. If you want to keep your teeth you must guard against this condition.
5. You haven’t had a dental cleaning in a while
Even if your mouth looks good, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss whether it’s time for another cleaning. Recommendations vary, but most dentists suggest you have a dental cleaning twice a year if you want to protect your teeth and gums from bacteria buildup, plaque and decay.
Finally, even if your appointments have been routine so far, be sure you are seeing the best dentist for you. You never know when you will need more complex care, so it pays to work with a practitioner who is capable of bringing the very best dental technology to resolve your dental problems.
Going to the Dentist During the Coronavirus Outbreak
In the midst of Coronavirus spreading, we at Ascot Family Dental have been monitoring this situation very closely for the past two months. As health care providers during a pandemic, we will continue with the relief of pain and management of infection with our patients in order to keep them out of hospitals and emergency departments. For more information on what to expect during your visit with us and the measures we are taking in accordance with the CDC, please visit our our website.