[caption id="attachment_850" align="aligncenter" width="500"] When is it time to drop everything and get help?[/caption] Tooth pain can be a real...well...pain. But sometimes it’s hard to know whether your discomfort is...
Of course, there’s one sign that’s easy to notice: when it’s been longer than six months since you visited the office. But we have such hectic lives that it’s easy to lose track of your last exam, and difficult to keep your next one on the schedule. Pay attention to your teeth and respond to what they’re telling you. Here’s how to tell if your smile is crying out for a cleaning. If you’re ready to schedule an appointment, just get in touch online or give us a call!
Signs Your Teeth Need Attention
Depending on your diet and oral hygiene, a longer lapse between exams isn’t always terrible. If you’re keeping your teeth plaque-free, you can avoid disease at home. But that’s easier said than done, and getting a professional eye on your smile will give you the confidence that your teeth are in great shape. Here’s what to watch for, and when it’s a good idea to schedule:
- Plaque buildup – Dental plaque is a film of bacteria that has formed a sticky coat over your teeth. It exposes your enamel to harmful acids, triggering the erosion that can lead to dental caries. Plaque can also harden into tartar, which is more difficult to remove and yellow or brown in appearance. While tartar is easier to notice, plaque is clear and more difficult to pinpoint. But if it’s gathering on your teeth, they may feel fuzzy or sticky.
- Inflamed gums – Plaque irritates the gums as well as the teeth, so your soft tissues will become swollen. Gum inflammation is the first stage of periodontal disease, so it’s key that you take action right away before things get more serious. Gingivitis is easy to reverse, but gum disease can require long-term rehabilitation.
- Bad breath – Additional bacteria in the mouth triggers unpleasant breath, which resists even your best mouthwashing efforts. New bad breath might indicate a cavity or periodontal disease.
How Often Should I Visit the Dentist?
Technically, the answer is different from patient to patient. Your dental history, oral health, and home hygiene habits dictate exam frequency. If you’re not sure how often you should be visiting, get in touch with our team today to get answers from Dr. Barton. You should always be informed of what’s right for your unique dental needs.