When was the last time you visited the dentist? If you are like millions of Americans, chances are you haven’t seen your general dentist in the past year.
We get it. Life is busy, and it can be challenging to take off work or school for medical appointments. However, regular dental exams and cleanings are vital for maintaining oral and overall wellness. (As well as keeping your smile looking good!)
If you’re unsure if it’s time to schedule a dental exam, keep reading. In this blog, we discuss five indications that you may be due for a dental visit.
1. Your teeth feel sensitive to temperature.
Suppose you cannot enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or scoop of ice cream because your teeth feel sensitive after experiencing hot and cold temperatures. In that case, your enamel (the tooth’s protective outer layer) has likely weakened. Temperature sensitivity can be caused by (but not limited to):
- Tooth decay or injury
- Excessively (and unconsciously) grinding the teeth
- Consuming a diet high in acidic foods
- Using harsh, at-home dental care products
- Pre-existing dental work (such as dental fillings and crowns)
- Limited access to high-quality, professional oral care
Regardless of the source of sensitivity, it’s essential to speak with a dental health professional about intervention options before problems escalate.
2. Your gums bleed after you brush or floss.
Do you notice a trail of blood in your sink after you brush or floss? Bleeding gums are an early warning sign of gingivitis (gum infection). With rapid intervention, a dentist can reverse and manage the symptoms of gingivitis with scaling and root planing and consistent dental cleanings. However, if gingivitis is ignored, symptoms worsen. When gingivitis turns into periodontal disease, the adverse effects can only be managed.
3. You notice staining.
In 2020, the teeth whitening industry was valued at $6,140.75 million, and business analysts anticipate the demand for bright, white teeth to continue to expand. While it’s true that there are store shelves and sites that boast the latest in teeth whitening, at-home treatments are not always safe or effective.
Instead of putting your health and dental enamel at risk, consider professional teeth cleaning. Dental hygienists use specialized tools to remove yellowing tartar that brushing and band-aid whitening solutions just don’t target.
It’s important to note that dental hygienists only focus on light, surface-level stains. If you are experiencing deep staining due to trauma, aging, or fluorosis, consider porcelain veneers.
4. You haven’t scheduled a dental visit in over six months.
The American Dental Association recommends that people visit their dentist for a routine dental hygiene appointment at least every six months. With frequent dental exams and cleanings, dental teams can:
- Remove plaque and tartar
- Prevent the development of cavities and periodontal disease
- Screen for oral cancer, TMJ disorder, and other detrimental conditions
Meet with a Family Dentist in Porterville, CA
If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms or haven’t seen a dentist in a while, please make an appointment with a family dentist. In Porterville, CA, Dr. Richard “Rick” Hardt and Dr. Lawryn Monterroso help patients of all ages improve the health and appearance of their smiles. Our gentle yet intentional team accepts preventative, general, and cosmetic dental appointments from existing and new patients. Schedule your next dental appointment by calling 559-784-6523.