Hopefully, you see a dentist the recommended twice a year for routine exams and cleanings. In fact, doing so is the best way to protect your teeth and avoid serious dental problems down the road. Of course, staying on top of your dental cleanings is only one part of the equation. Maintaining excellent dental hygiene between appointments and knowing how to spot signs of dental issues is also important.
Specifically, there are a few dental issues that should always warrant an appointment with your dentist -- even if you just recently had a cleaning/exam.
1. Bleeding or Irritated Gums
If your gums have started to bleed when you brush your teeth or eat, this is not something you should ignore -- especially if it comes on suddenly. Most often, bleeding or irritated/swollen gums are a sign of early gum disease, which is completely treatable if caught early but can become a permanent problem with irreversible damage (known as periodontal disease) if it progresses.
2. Sudden Tooth Sensitivity
If you're suddenly noticing that you experience sensitivity or discomfort when you eat or drink something hot or cold, this is another symptom that should be reported to your dentist right away. This is especially true if your sensitivity is localized around a certain tooth or side of your mouth. It's possible that you have an early cavity that was missed during your last exam, or that your enamel is wearing down and you need to begin using a toothpaste specifically formulated for sensitive teeth. Either way, it's good to find out for sure.
3. Cracked or Chipped Teeth
Even a seemingly minor crack or chip in one of your teeth can quickly become a serious problem if not addressed right away. That's because even the tiniest of chips and cracks can allow bacteria to enter, which can lead to decay and even bacterial infections in the teeth. Even if your cracked or chipped tooth doesn't seem painful or uncomfortable, it's best to see a dentist sooner rather than later. The earlier these issues are addressed, the easier it is to treat them (usually with a simple procedure involving bonding resin) and prevent them from getting worse.
While regular dental exams and cleanings are hands-down the best way to maintain and protect your dental/oral health, it sometimes becomes necessary to schedule dentist appointments in between cleanings. By doing so for any of these issues, you can avoid more costly and painful dental issues down the road.
For more information, contact a company like Pinon Hills Dental.