Six Signs it's time to visit the Dentist
Author: Dr. Namita Singh
It is tempting for many of us to put off a dental appointment, maybe due to the dental phobia, busy schedule or even because of quacks. We all have been learning about tooth decay and other related problems since we were first introduced to sweets as a child. However, the question arises, are you fully aware about all the dental problems? Or do you know when to visit a dentist?
The answer to the question would be “NO” for most of us because we prefer to visit dentists only on experiencing severe tooth pain, jaw pain or because of injury. We know that bleeding gums, or tooth pain are not a good sign and it indicates that we should see a dentist as soon as possible. However, there are few other signs and symptoms that indicate it’s time to visit a dentist. These include:
It is very important to take care of your oral health if you have diabetes. People with diabetes are at greater risk of developing oral diseases because they have lower resistance to infection than those without diabetes. Higher the blood sugar level, higher is the chances of gum diseases. The high sugar level in saliva creates an ideal environment for the plaque to build up on your teeth and this ultimately leads to infection and gum diseases.
Another very common dental problem in people with diabetes is Candidiasis. Candidiasis, also known as oral thrush, is a fungal infection caused by yeast called Candida Albicans. Yeast is naturally present in the oral cavity, problem arises when it overgrows. High sugar level in saliva can contribute to Oral Thrush. Other oral health issues affecting people with diabetes are- tooth decay, mouth ulcers, and Lichen Planus. Keeping the blood sugar level in normal range and proper dental care routine will reduce the risk. Therefore, visiting a dentist every six months ensures a healthy oral cavity.
Always feeling parched? Having to deal with a dry mouth once in a while is normal as it is a common side effect of medications, but if you experience persistent, unexplained dry mouth it could be a sign of gum or tooth disease. Dry mouth — also known as Xerostomia — results when your mouth stops producing enough saliva. Saliva neutralizes acids produced by plaque and washes away the food particles or other debris.
If you experience persistent dry mouth, you should see a dentist as the condition may progress to tooth decay. Your doctor may determine what’s causing the problem and can recommend you various methods to restore moisture. Most common treatment includes artificial saliva and special mouthwashes.
Getting a prenatal dental check-up is safe and important for your dental health. Your dentist can help discuss changes in your oral health and pregnancy related dental symptoms you might be experiencing. Pregnancy can make some dental problems worse. Major shift in hormone levels can make your mouth more vulnerable to bacteria and plaque, for example, many women experience Pregnancy gingivitis, an inflammation of gums that can cause swelling, tenderness and may bleed while brushing. It is more likely to occur during the second trimester. Plan on a visit to the dentist, regular check-ups can keep you and your baby healthy.
Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is often a sign of poor oral hygiene. It can happen anytime and to anyone, but if it persists even after brushing and flossing, it can be a sign of a serious conditions like gum disease, salivary gland infection or dental cavity. If you suffer from chronic halitosis, consult your dentist for a check-up.
Bleeding after brushing
Blood on your toothbrush after brushing is not normal. Either you are brushing too aggressively or there is something wrong with your gums. Often, bleeding gums are the first sign of periodontal disease. Lookout for other signs, if redness and soreness persist, you need to consult your dentist immediately as these are the signs of gingivitis. Left untreated, it can damage the tissue and supporting structure of your teeth.
Canker sores, or aphthous ulcers, are small ulcers that can be found on or under the tongue, inside your cheek or lip, or on the soft palate. They clear up on their own in a week or two. However, if you experience a canker sore that last 3 weeks or longer or that recur often, don’t ignore them and see your dentist right away. It occurs due to some sort of irritant, stress or injury to the inside of the mouth. Acidic or citrus fruit can also trigger a canker sore as can non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, braces and ill- fitting dentures.
If you experience any of the above mentioned issues, consider scheduling an appointment with dentist as soon as possible. Don’t wait for the things to resolve on their own, waiting will only put you at risk for more painful and expensive procedures. Even if you don’t experience any of these symptoms, you should not ignore your bi-annual visits or you can even consult online. At Credence, we offer comprehensive dental care services and help you to maintain a healthy smile. You can create an account today on portal.credence.com
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