30 Signs You Need To Go To The Dentist

By Carole 1 year ago

1. You Have Chronic Bad Breath

Image source / RedditBad breath, known as halitosis, may not be caused by your tooth brushing habits or from not brushing your teeth at all.  Halitosis could be the first sign of a dental issue or an infection which needs to be treated so you can go back to sweet smelling breath.

2. Your Teeth Are Sensitive To Hot, Cold Or Sugary Foods

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If you're noticing increased sensitivity to hot, cold or sugary foods, it could mean that you have a cavity.  This sensitivity could also be a sign of something serious such as gum recession or root exposure.  It's really important to see your dentist and get a correct diagnosis so you don't have to suffer further.

3. Your Gums Bleed When Brushing Or Flossing

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When you brush your teeth or floss them and notice some bleeding, it could mean you have gum disease and it should be checked out before worsening.  Sufferers often think it will just go away but exactly the opposite can occur.

4. You've Got Pain In Your Teeth, Mouth And Jaw

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Pain is the body's first warning sign that something's wrong.  If you have pain in any area of your mouth or your jaw continuously aches, you shouldn't hesitate to book an appointment with your dentist.  Even minimal soreness can lead to major issues.

5. You Have A Bump Or Rough Area In Your Mouth, Tongue Or Cheek

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If you feel a bump or rough surface in your mouth or you have a cut there that isn't healing, there's a chance it may be HPV or oral cancer.  You don't have to be a smoker or be experiencing pain for it to be a serious issue.  That's why you must visit your dentist to find out what is going on.

6. You Get Frequent Headaches

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People who clench and grind their teeth at night can put so much force on both the teeth and jaws muscles, that it causes headaches.  This can be remedied by a custom fitted night guard to eliminate this habit.  Some patients are often unaware they are even doing this.

7. Your Jaw Hurts

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Jaw pain can be caused by a whole host of different factors.  Impacted wisdom teeth is a common one although something more serious could be happening, such as a growing tumor or cancer. A dental x-ray can rule out and treat the matter.

8. You Have A Bad Taste In Your Mouth

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A bad taste in your mouth may be due to an abscess which is a pocket of pus caused by infection.  It forms in the mouth and you can taste the pus as it seeps out.  Getting to the root of the problem is important because you shouldn't let an infection fester.

9. Your Teeth Look Shorter

Image source / Bauer Clinic
Another warning sign of teeth grinding can show up in the teeth's appearance.  If you find yourself looking in the mirror and realizing your teeth are not looking as big as they used to be, it could be as a result of grinding.  This leads to the stronger enamel in the mouth breaking down.

10. Your Mouth Tastes Of Metal

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Having a metallic taste in your mouth could be an alarming sign that you have gingivitis.  If you do experience this symptom, you shouldn't waste time putting off a dental appointment.  Gingivitis is a disease of the gums.

11. Your Teeth Are Discolored

Image source / Dentagama
Discoloration of a tooth could lead to further problems in your mouth.  It usually indicates that a tooth has been injured and this may lead to infection.  Ignored by the individual could result in them having to lose the tooth which is obviously distressing for them.

12. You Suffer With Migraines

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People do not know that bruxism, the medical term for teeth grinding, can cause severe migraines.  The constant grinding can put stress on the temporomandibular joints which are situated on the side of your head, by your ears.  A comfortable mouthpiece can alleviate this.

13. You Wake Up Tired Every Morning

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The dentist is probably not the person you would expect to contact if you are experiencing fatigue but the problem could stem from your teeth.  You may have sleep apnea, where you stop breathing repeatedly and your sleep is interrupted.  If this is due to a heart issue, your dentist can check your gums to determine if you are clenching your teeth to open up your airway.

14. Your Saliva Has Changed

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If you have noticed that your saliva has been changing consistency, in that it is thicker, then there could be many reasons for this.  Googling a diagnosis and remedy is not the way forward.  You need to be seen by a dentist, the professional who can find out the cause.

15. Your Ears Hurt

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Ear pain can be caused by an ear infection but it can also have a direct link to your dental wellbeing.  Infections of the teeth and gums can create referred ear pain.  As well as pain, it can also cause ringing in the ears which is very difficult for the sufferer.

16. Your Gums Are Receding

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Have you noticed that your gums appear to be receding because your teeth are becoming more visible?  it could be a sign of bone loss, points out dental consultant, Dr Suerta.  To figure out the exact cause of the recession means going to see your dentist.

17. Your Retainer Isn't Fitting Correctly

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When your retainer isn't fitting the way it used to, it's time for a new one. When the teeth begin shifting, it breeds permanent changes to the balance of the jaw which can then lead to TMJ dysfunction (movement of the jaw) later in life. Crowded teeth also means you can't get your toothbrush right into the tooth and gums, so putting yourself at the risk of decay or gum disease.

18. You Haven't Seen A Dentist In Ages

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If you haven't seen your dentist in more than 6 months or you still have dental benefits that you haven't used up yet,  you should head in for a check up and hygienist appointment to deep clean those pearly whites.  Your teeth will feel so smooth afterwards and your gums nice and pink.

19. You Try To Hide Your Smile

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Self conscious about a missing tooth, crooked teeth, discolored teeth or even pain when smiling widely, then it's time you stopped putting off the inevitable.  The thought of seeing the dentist is usually worse than the actual visit an you'll be relieved you made it.

20. You've Had Dental Work Done

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If you've had fillings, crowns, dentures or dental implants, that shouldn't be the end of your dentist journey.  In fact, the opposite applies.  Your dentist needs to check your previous treatments are still ok and that your gums are healthy.

21. You Have Ongoing Medical Issues

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You should make your dentist part of your regular team if you have a medical condition such as diabetes, HIV positive, heart problems or an eating disorder.  So much can be read about your health from your mouth and teeth.

22. You're Pregnant

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It is perfectly safe to visit your dentist when you are pregnant.  Some dental problems can worsen during pregnancy, such as gum issues and a sore tongue, so it's important you don't miss any of your check ups.  You need to be in the best health you can while carrying a little one inside of you.

23. You're Having Trouble Eating

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Are you passing on foods you have to chew before you can digest them and swapping them for soups and soft liquified foods?  Then you know this is not normal behavior and you should see your dentist so they can find out exactly what is happening in your mouth.

24. You Have A Dry Mouth

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Always feeling parched might be the sign of a medical issue or a side effect of medication you have been prescribed by your doctor.  Get that appointment booked with your dentist and be sure to bring a list of all your medications with you.

25. You Use Any Kind of Tobacco

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None of us need reminding how bad smoking is for us because of the dangers that tobacco can cause, from bad breath to oral cancer and that's just talking about the mouth.  There's the rest of the body to consider as well.  A 6 monthly inspection by your dentist is imperative if you are a smoker.

26. It's Time For Your Check-Up

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Even if aren't experiencing any symptoms, check ups are important because they help prevent problems from developing and can treat existing symptoms before they become more advanced.  That 5-10 minutes examination by your dentist can be worth its weight in gold.

27. You Have Loose or Shifting Teeth

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Once our childhood milk teeth have fallen out, the permanent teeth that then grow should should last a lifetime.  If you feel your teeth are shifting or you notice they are loose, you should take it seriously since it could be a sign of bone loss or an infection.

28. You're Experiencing Numbness In Your Mouth

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If you have been experiencing a toothache and numbness in your mouth, it might be a sign that an infection has already spread to the roots of the tooth.  In this case, a root canal therapy may be needed and you shouldn't waste time in contacting your dentist.

29. You Have White Spots On Your Teeth

Image source / Medical News Today
White spots on the surface of the teeth may be an indication of early stages of tooth decay.  If you visit your dentist straight away, it could halt the decay process before the cavity is formed and you won't then need to have the tooth filled.

30. Mouth Injury

Image source / Mayo Clinic
People of all ages can experience mouth injuries in their teeth, jaw, tongue or gums.   A dentist will even consider a small cut or puncture as an injury, especially in children.  A chipped tooth could lead on to grinding which will affect the jaw so make sure you see your dentist.

31. Tips for avoiding the dentist: brush your teeth BEFORE breakfast

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How many of us brush our teeth right before we're rushing out the door, after we've had our morning coffee and breakfast? It makes sense because you don't want to leave the house with food in your teeth, but actually, it's better to brush your teeth first thing after you've woken up, to clean away the night's bacteria before you eat anything.

32. Cut out drinks that stain your teeth

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You don't have to give up drinking altogether, but if you're a lover of red wine, you might want to try some clear-colored alcoholic beverages as an alternative - even white wine if you can hack it! As well as that, cut down on other drinks that can stain your teeth, like coffee.

33. Are you cleaning your gum and tongue, too?

image source: dentalworld.com
There's so much focus on brushing the teeth themselves - and rightly so - but that's really only half the battle. You actually need to be cleaning your gums, too, as this is where bacteria that can result in gum disease can collect. On top of that, you can use a scraper or brush for your tongue to get rid of that extra bacteria.

34. Ditch the manual - get an electric

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This one is common advice, and a lot of people stick with manual just because it's easier and cheaper (and we get that!). But in the long-run, if you care about your teeth, it's worth the investment, because an electric is what is going to remove more plaque from your teeth.

35. Don't spit and rinse!

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This is hard not to, because your knee-jerk reaction after brushing your teeth is to then spit out the remaining toothpaste in your mouth and give it a nice swill to get rid of the residue. But you'll actually want to keep all that in your mouth, because otherwise you're washing away the fluoride which is there to help protect your teeth even after you've brushed.

36. Speaking of fluoride

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Make sure you're using a toothpaste with flouride in the first place! This is what's needed to protect your teeth and strengthen your tooth enamel, which is what helps in resisting tooth decay and cavities. You can also boost your flouride by using mouthwash separately to brushing.

37. Keep your toothbrush out in the open (but away from the toilet)

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You might have heard about those poop particles that float around your bathroom everytime you flush - and it's true! You definitely don't want to be keeping your toothbrush anywhere near the toilet. As well as that, your toothbrush will do much better if it's left out in the open rather than in a closed cabinet.

38. Don't share your toothbrush

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We can't believe we have to say this, but please don't! Not even with a partner whose saliva you share anyway, if you're staying overnight and happened to have forgotten yours. You shouldn't share your toothbrush with anybody because all that bacteria can be transferred through the mouth.

39. Increase the crunch!

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Make sure you're eating lots of crunchy fruit and vegetables on a daily basis. Not only is this healthy in general, the crunchiness of them when you bite down will help to remove plaque from your teeth as well as increasing saliva production which can help wash away bad bacteria.

40. Don't forget to replace your toothbrush

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You really don't want to have to wait until your toothbrush is on its last legs looking like a dried old paintbrush - you should aim to replace your manual toothbrush, or electric toothbrush head, every 3 months. As well as that, you should ideally replace after getting over a serious infection like flu or tonsillitis.

41. Use mouthwash separate to brushing

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It feels like a logical routine to floss, brush your teeth and then use mouthwash. Done! And you can get on with your day. But it's actually recommended to use mouthwash at a separate time - like the middle of the day when you're not brushing - to make sure that you're not washing away the fluoride from the toothpaste!

42. Chew sugarless gum after meals

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Gum with a high sugar content isn't going to do many favors for your teeth, but chewing sugarless gum for a short time after eating can actually help. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, and the more saliva you have, the more it's washing away bacteria and food particles from your teeth.

43. Are you brushing your teeth in the shower? Don't!

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Don't worry, we're not judging - it seems like the perfect multi-tasking, doesn't it? You're already in there, why not brush your teeth at the same time? Well, apparently hot water and steam can make your toothbrush bristles more soften, which can ruin their effectiveness.

44. You may want to eat some cheese!

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Did you know that cheese is actually beneficial for your teeth? As well as being a tasty option for many different recipes - or just eaten alone - it also has a high calcium content, which is great news for your teeth, as well as balancing out the pH levels in the mouth that can reduce damaging acid.

45. Set a timer to brush for two minutes

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Two minutes, twice daily, is the optimum time to brush your teeth, so if you're doing a hurried job in the morning - and even if you're flossing - it's not an effective teeth clean. If you're not timing it, it can easily feel like two minutes has passed when it actually hasn't. Put a countdown on your phone, or even play your favorite two-minute song.

46. Make sure you're cleaning any dental extras, too

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If you have to wear anything else that protects your mouth or teeth, like removable retainers, then you need to make sure you're cleaning them separately as an extra step. You don't want to put a retainer back in your mouth that hasn't been cleaned properly!

47. Don't think that vaping is a good substitute

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People who are trying to look after their teeth know that ditching smoking can be a huge helpful step - but that doesn't mean that vaping is a healthy substitute when it comes to your teeth. Vaping is less damaging than smoking, but chemicals in e-liquids can cause damage, and vaping can also cause dry mouth which can lead to oral problems.

48. Time your eat/brush cycle perfectly

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It's natural for people to get into a routine of eating first and then brushing their teeth right after to get rid of everything and stay fresh - especially in the morning. We already mentioned that brushing before you eat is the better step, but you also need to time for a 30 minute break between! This is because your enamel can be softened after eating and brushing. So wait 30 minutes after eating to brush, or 30 minutes after brushing to eat!

49. Less sugar - but also, less frequently

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Sugar in general is a problem for your teeth, so cutting down your total amount is a win. But it's the frequency you have sugar throughout the day that is actually the bigger problem. It's much worse on your teeth if you're having small sugary snacks throughout the day, rather than one big sugary snack with your evening meal.

50. The dentist isn't just for emergencies

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While following this tips will ensure you hopefully don't have to visit the dentist for any issues anytime soon, that doesn't mean regular checkups can be avoided! These are the cherry on the cake (sugar-free, of course) when it comes to good oral hygiene, as your dentist will be able to check your teeth more thoroughly (and compliment you on your hard work).

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