Tooth Hurty: Time to See the Dentist

Posted on: 21 February 2018

Few people enjoy a visit to the dentist, but ignoring your dental health can have serious consequences. Dentists recommend regular check-ups, but what if you've left it even longer? How do you tell it really is time to see the dentist?

  1. Toothache. The most obvious of all signs a dental visit is long overdue, a toothache is your body's way of telling you something's amiss. Toothaches are often caused by cavities and can also be evidence of an infection, grinding your teeth, having a misaligned bite or gum disease.

  2. Bleeding gums. If you've been brushing with too much vigor or getting a little carried away with the floss, your gums might bleed a little. But ongoing bleeding and pain in the gums can be signs of gum disease. Also known as gingivitis, gum disease arises from plaque that is left in your mouth for too long, causing your gums to become swollen and tender.

  3. Ulcers. While some ulcers will heal within a few days, lingering sores on your gums, tongue or insides of your cheeks can be caused by an infection. Both viruses and fungi are to blame for these long-lasting sores, and your dentist is the person to banish them.

  4. Bad Breath. The least glamorous of all dental issues, bad breath affects everyone from time to time. But lingering bad breath, or halitosis, is a sign that your teeth need attention, fast.

  5. Brown and streaky teeth. If you smoke or love to indulge in a glass of red wine or a coffee with friends, your teeth will begin to show stains. If brushing doesn't remove them, a professional clean will often do the trick.

  6. Jaw ache. Many people grind their teeth, particularly while they sleep, and this can lead to painful jaws, sinus issues and toothaches. Your dentist can prevent further problematic grinding by supplying you a mouth guard for you to wear at night.

  7. Sensitive teeth. If you feel a shooting pain with your hot tea or cold ice cream, you may be suffering from sensitive teeth. Benign causes such as vigorous brushing, tooth-whitening toothpaste and harsh types of mouthwash can all cause your teeth to become sensitive, alongside more serious conditions like tooth decay, eroded enamel, receding gums and even leaking fillings.

Delaying a dentist appointment despite developing problems can impact the health of your mouth and body in significant ways. So don't wait for "tooth hurty", give your dentist a call.