Many try and put off going to the dentist for as long as they can, but here are 5 indicators that it really is time to go to make an appointment with the dentist.
1. If you have a toothache
It may sound obvious, but toothache or a pain in the gum or jaw may be a sign of dental decay or an infection that could need attention. It is estimated that 30% of Adults in Australia have untreated tooth decay. The discomfort of having dental treatment is definitely better than letting the decay develop further, as this could lead to more severe complications and pain.
2. If you have tender or bleeding gums
Although bleeding or tender gums are usually caused by over rigorous brushing, they could also be a symptom of gum disease which, if not treated, could eventually develop into periodontitis. Periodontitis causes the gums separate from the teeth, creating spaces or 'pockets' which can become infected, leading to pain and the potential loss of teeth.
3. If you have sensitive teeth
If a tooth is sensitive to temperature or sweet flavours, this could be due to a buildup of plaque, which can usually be fixed by thorough brushing twice a day and the use of mouthwash. But if the sensitivity continues, it could be a sign of cavities or a defective filling.
4. If you have bad breath
Halitosis can be caused by many things such as a poor diet, serious sinus infections, medication, diabetes and gum disease. If you're brushing thoroughly every day and people are still turning away when you speak to them, it could easily be gum disease, or a buildup of bacterial plaque.
5. If you are pregnant
During and just after pregnancy, the change in the body's hormone levels can make your gums more susceptible to plaque and inflammation. When combined with morning sickness or some of the more unusual foods eaten during pregnancy cravings, this can be a recipe for a oral health disaster. It is vital to visit the dentist regularly when pregnant, as serious gum problems over the course of a pregnancy have been associated with a lowered birth weight in babies.
If something feels wrong to you, no matter how strange or minor, it's worth going and having a check-up. Having regular check-ups ensures that your dentist can spot and treat any problems as soon as they arise, before they become serious issues.