We get it. We all have busy lives. Getting the kids to practice, balancing jobs and school and trying to get enough sleep can be both time-consuming and overwhelming. But it’s imperative that you don’t let your dental health fall by the wayside. Part of a healthy oral hygiene routine involves visiting your dentist every 6 months, but sometimes there are signs that you need to make an appointment sooner than that. Greensburg dentist Dr. Del Kovacevic is here today to talk about the 5 warning signs that it’s time to visit the dentist.
1. Visit Your Dentist If You’re In Pain
If you have a toothache, chances are you want to see your dentist anyway. A toothache is more than a minor inconvenience—it’s a crisis. Toothaches can distract you from your work, school or family, and oftentimes they signify a more severe health issue.
Common toothache causes include:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Tooth grinding
- Malocclusion (bad bite)
When your mouth is in pain, it’s trying to let you know that something isn’t right. And a lot of the time, the condition will not go away on its own. Keep your toothaches and health problems at bay by visiting your Greensburg dentist as soon as you notice that something doesn’t feel right.
2. Visit Your Dentist If Your Gums Are Bleeding
It always amazes us at Dr. Del Kovacevic Cosmetic, Family & Implant Dentistry that patients neglect to treat bleeding gums like a serious concern. Bleeding gums indicate severe oral health problems and need to be addressed by a dentist immediately.
Bleeding gums can signify:
- Gingivitis – Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease characterized by swollen or inflamed gums. When plaque is left on the teeth and gum line, bacteria can infect the delicate gum tissue. This makes the gums tender and can cause them to bleed while brushing or eating hard foods.
- Medications – The American Dental Association recognizes that certain blood thinning medications have the potential to cause bleeding gums. Blood thinners reduce the blood’s ability to clot, which can cause the gums to bleed. Let your dentist know about your experience and any medications that you’re on.
- New flossing routine – If you forget or neglect to floss for a few days, you may notice bleeding when you begin your flossing routine again. While the bleeding should clear up within one week, we recommend that our Greensburg patients floss every day in order to avoid bloody gums.
- New toothbrush – Switching from a soft-bristled toothbrush to a firm brush may irritate your gum tissue and cause them to bleed. Try to remember to choose a soft brush and ask your dentist about the best toothbrush for your needs at your next appointment.
Bleeding gums should not be ignored. Make an appointment right away with your Greensburg, PA dentist to avoid long-term damage to your smile.
3. Visit Your Dentist If You Drink Coffee Or Alcohol
Most coffee-drinkers know that our favorite early morning or late night study beverage can stain our pearly-whites. But did you know that alcohol can also discolor your teeth?
Tinted liquids like coffee, soda and red wine have dark pigment in their chemical makeup. The pigment can get stuck in the microscopic cracks and ridges of your teeth. If the proper cleaning steps are not taken, your teeth can end up with a permanent stain.
If you notice that your enamel has yellow or brown stains and you regularly drink coffee or alcohol, make an appointment with your Greensburg dentist. You can discuss tips for preventing tooth discoloration or avoiding stains for whiter teeth in the future.
4. Visit Your Dentist If You Have Ongoing Medical Issues
Each part of your body is intricately connected. If one part is not functioning properly, other organs and organ systems can experience adverse side-effects. Your teeth are not exempt from this.
Certain diseases or ailments can wreak havoc on your dental health. If you have any of the following conditions, see your dentist immediately to discuss treatment options:
- Diabetes – Diabetes patients are reported to have a higher prevalence of tooth decay, gum disease, dry mouth or difficulty recovering from dental injuries.
- Anemia/iron deficiency – When your body is anemic, it is not producing enough red blood cells, which can cause your gums to look pale or white.
- Thyroid problems – Thyroid complications can inhibit your body’s ability to heal, which makes it easier for your gums to develop gum disease.
- Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia – Patients who are struggling with eating disorders are not getting enough essential vitamins and minerals to keep their teeth and gums strong. Additionally, patients with bulimia who vomit regularly expose their teeth to corrosive acids, which can cause tooth decay.
It is important to regularly monitor your health and perform self-checkups. If you notice that your teeth or gums have changed after developing one of the above conditions, make an appointment with your dentist to prevent other serious problems from developing.
5. Visit Your Dentist If You Have Headaches
It may come as a surprise, but headaches and oral health are closely related. If you wake up with a headache in the morning or throughout the night, you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep. This not only causes a throbbing headache but can lead to damaged teeth and jaw disorders.
Additionally, your dental health and sinuses are interconnected. When the sinuses become inflamed due to sinusitis, your upper teeth and jaw can ache. Recurrent sinusitis can cause you to breathe through your mouth, which may dry it out and allow bacteria to grow more quickly.
Make An Appointment With Your Greensburg Dentist
Your physician should not be the only one that you call when you experience a health issue. It is critical to visit your dentist every 6 months. Regular dental checkups can help prevent long-term oral health problems and keep your teeth healthy and strong. Make an appointment with Dr. Kovacevic at Dr. Del Kovacevic Cosmetic, Family & Implant Dentistry to take charge of your dental care and maintain optimum health.