When Should I Go to the Dentist?
By: Dr. Hira Chughtai
How to Know if You Need to See a Dentist
You’ve probably heard that regular dental checkups every six months help keep your mouth healthy and identify potential dental issues before they happen. But what happens if you think you may have to see a dentist between those regular checkups?
If you have tooth sensitivity, new areas of swelling, or issues with a denture, you may be wondering “When should I go to the dentist?” Just like going to the doctor, sometimes it can be hard to know whether to schedule a dentist appointment or to wait it out. That’s why I’ve put together a list of things that you should be mindful of to help you know when to see the dentist.
1. You notice a new pain or sensitive area in your mouth.
If at any point you experience pain or changes in your mouth such as hot and cold sensitivity, aching, or throbbing, this should be an indication that you should see a dentist—especially if pain is affecting your everyday activities. Sometimes the changes in your mouth can affect your ability to sleep, eat, and talk, and that’s a sure sign that something is off and you need to see your dentist.
2. If your denture, bridge, or appliance isn’t fitting as well as it used to.
If you have dentures, a bridge, or an appliance, you should see your dentist if it feels loose or is not fitting as well as it used to. It may be time for an adjustment to help it fit like new again. Your mouth can change over time, and your dentures or other appliances should be regularly checked to ensure they’re still fitting well in your mouth.
3. You notice bleeding when you’re brushing or flossing.
It is normal for your gums to bleed a little bit when you begin to establish a flossing routine. However, if the bleeding doesn’t stop after a few weeks or you notice bleeding when brushing your teeth, it may be an indication of a periodontal issue that, if not treated, can lead to bigger issues down the road such as gum disease.
4. If you haven’t been in over 6 months.
A lot of times a patient will think “It’s okay, I think I can wait until my next appointment to have this checked out.” Then the next thing they know, it escalates and the pain is even more prevalent than before.
Don’t hesitate to call us if you feel anything. Unfortunately, some patients will come to their dentist and say “Oh, I didn’t want to bother you because it’s probably nothing.” I always reassure patients that you’re not bothering us at all. We’re here to help you and our main goal is always to keep you in the best oral health possible.
Please reach out to us if you’re having dental pain of any sort. It’s much easier to treat pain earlier before it escalates and becomes even more painful (and costly!) down the road.