A dentist’s office is often one of the most universally avoided places in America. We know that we should go in for a dental checkup, but put it off at the cost of our own oral health.

Visiting the dentist — however unpleasant — is a critical element of staying healthy. Oral hygiene is one of the cornerstones of overall health. Doctors and dentists alike can tell a lot about a person’s health by looking at their mouth.

If you’re wondering whether or not you need to go to the dentist, chances are you do. A dentist will address your concerns and prevent any further harm from coming to your mouth.

Toothache

Having pain in your jaw or tooth is one of the hallmark signs that you need a dental checkup.

Toothaches don’t magically disappear, and the longer you ignore the pain, the worse it will get.

If you ignore a toothache for long enough, you’ll only cause further damage to your mouth an jaw. No one looks forward to getting a filling, but taking care of a toothache early will limit the damage it does to the rest of your mouth.

If you have pain anywhere in your jaw, face, or neck, check with a dentist to make sure it’s not one of your teeth. You might be experiencing a dental abscess, which can become life-threatening if you don’t get it treated.

Your Breath Stinks

Everyone has bad breath once in a while, but chronic bad breath is often a sign of a bigger issue.

If you brush, floss, and use mouthwash, there’s no reason your breath should stink at all times of the day. If proper dental hygiene doesn’t do the trick, you probably have chronic bad breath.

Chronic bad breath is not only embarrassing, but it’s a signifier that something is wrong with your mouth or body. You could have tooth decay that’s causing your bad breath, and a dentist will be able to fix the problem for you.

More importantly, chronic bad breath can be a signifier of cancer and other health problems. A dentist will recommend that you see a doctor if he or she believes your bad breath stems from a greater issue.

Sensitive Teeth

Having sensitive teeth means that your teeth hurt when eating or drinking hot or cold food or beverages. If you can’t drink a cold glass of water without cringing, you should schedule a dental checkup right away.

Having sensitive teeth is a symptom that many people will manage and ignore for long periods. Sometimes, sensitive teeth don’t mean anything, especially if the symptom only lasts for a few days.

On the other hand, enhanced tooth sensitivity could be a sign of something worse. Sensitive teeth signify an exposed tooth root, a cavity, fractured teeth, worn fillings, and gum disease.

If the pain in your mouth is excruciating whenever you eat or drink anything that’s hot or cold, a dental checkup is a must. They’ll be able to tell you whether your sensitivity is normal or a sign of something more menacing.

You’ve Recently Had Work Done

If you were at the dentist a few weeks ago for a filling, implant, or other procedure, you might not think you need to go back until your next dental checkup.

This line of thinking is understandable but incorrect. Your dentist might be talented, but even the most capable dentist can make a mistake from time to time.

It’s essential that you visit the dentist shortly after you’ve had any oral work done.

An implant might be loose, and a filling might be fuzzy. Dentists need to correct these mistakes immediately to reduce the long-term impact on your oral hygiene. If you assume they got everything right the first time; you might end up paying for it in the long run.

Bleeding Gums

Gums bleed for a variety of reasons. Some of the causes of bleeding gums are routine, while others signify a serious problem in your mouth. Going in for a dental checkup is the only way to know for sure.

If you’ve recently picked up flossing for the first time in a long time, you can expect your gums to bleed a bit during the first few sessions. Likewise, if you’ve recently quit smoking, your gums might bleed for about a week as your body adjusts.

If you haven’t changed anything, however, and your gums start to bleed, only a dentist will be able to tell you what is wrong.

Professionals like these dentists in St. Louis will assess your gums and tell you whether your brushing patterns are causing your gums to bleed, or if you’re showing signs of gingivitis.

You’ve Had a Mouth Injury

If you recently had one of your teeth knocked loose, it’s essential that you visit the dentist so they can assess your mouth’s health. Getting hit in the mouth getting one of your teeth knocked loose could lead to more problems in your mouth down the line.

There’s a chance that your tooth will tighten up again on its own, but you don’t want to risk it. A dentist will be able to tell you whether you should take extra precautions when brushing and flossing.

More Than 6 Months Since Your Last Dental Checkup

If you haven’t been to the dentist in six months, it’s time to book a cleaning. If you’re pushing a year without a checkup, get an appointment as soon as possible.

If you have any bad habits, it’s even more important that you schedule a dentist appointment soon. Drinking coffee, smoking, and grinding your teeth compromise your oral health. You need to schedule regular cleanings to prevent long-term damage.

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy

Going to the dentist is nobody’s favorite activity. Still, it’s a necessity if you want to keep your smile bright and your breath smelling fresh.

If you take care of your body, there’s no reason you shouldn’t give your teeth the same treatment. Call your local dentist’s office today and schedule an appointment for a dental checkup. You’ll be happy you did.

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