It’s easy to let preventative health check-ups fall to the wayside. Family obligations, busy jobs, and demanding schedules can have your dental health sitting on the back burner- until a nagging symptom reminds you that it’s been a while since your last check-up. It’s important to remember that in-home treatments aren’t the same as making an appointment with a dental professional, but here are 5 things you can check for at home that indicate it’s time to visit your local dental office:
1. You Have Recurring Bad Breath
If you’re experiencing more than the typical morning breath, it might be time to schedule an appointment. Bad breath can affect us physically and mentally. It’s easy to worry that your breath is noticeable in social situations. Instead of living in fear of your bad breath, talk to a dentist to help identify the cause and find a solution.
2. You’re Experiencing Persistent Jaw Pain
Jaw pain can be caused by temporomandibular joint symptom (TMJ), which is estimated to affect close to 10 million Americans. TMJ causes severe, sometimes chronic pain in the jaw when performing basic functions like talking or chewing food. Jaw pain is never normal so make sure to make an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible.
3. Bleeding After Brushing or Flossing
While brushing too hard or flossing after a long hiatus can be to blame, consistent bleeding is something to talk to a dentist about. Bleeding gums are typically a sign that periodontal or gum disease is developing.
4. Your Mouth is Always Dry
A healthy mouth is well lubricated by saliva. If your mouth feels unusually dry, it could be a sign of illness. Saliva serves to wash away food particles and neutralize acids produced by plaque. A dentist will be able to determine the cause and find a solution to restore moisture to your mouth.
5. Bumps and Sores That Won’t Go Away
A common canker sore will typically clear up in a week or two. However, if you’re experiencing bumps or sores that aren’t healing or keep coming back, it’s time to make an appointment with a dentist.
Finding a Dentist:
Finding a dentist is much easier than you may think. Ask family, friends, or your current doctor for recommendations. The ADA also provides a list of local and state dental associations on their website to make searching for a dentist quick and easy.