Pain – Okay, we know you’re going to say this one is silly and everyone would come in when something hurts, but that’s not always the case.  Mind bending, tear-inducing pain is a no-brainer and most people do manage to find a dentist then, but don’t forget the nagging “only when I chew,” or “only to sweets” kind of pain too.  Our bodies are smart.  The nerves in our teeth serve a valuable purpose: they’re our warning sign or our “check engine” light.  If you’re like me, who as a teenager covered up the check engine light w/ black nail polish on my old VW, don’t do this when it comes to your teeth!  Too often we see simple problems that could be fixed with a few hundred dollar filling evolve into a few thousand dollar root canal or crown.  Sometimes it goes even further into losing the tooth and requiring an implant.  All of these just keep getting more expensive, so listen when your teeth are talking to you and, if it hurts, it’s time for a checkup.

Swelling – Just because it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. Swelling is our body’s natural response to a problem and it likely means something is afoot.  Frequently a simple xray and an exam can find the source and get you back on track again.  Maybe just a popcorn hull wedged below the gums.  Maybe a more sinister infection is lurking below.  It could even be a root canal.  It’s time for a checkup.

Bad Breath – Bad morning breath is something most people have become accustomed to, but have you noticed that something changed and what once smelled ok, now smells a little unusual?  read last month’s tips to help treat simple bad breath.  The bacteria are generally responsible for the changes in smells that we notice.   If they’re changing, it’s time for a checkup.

Discolored Teeth – It’s an easy trick when your dentist is doing your exam – he just pokes at all the dark spots, right?  Well sorta, but really discoloration of the teeth can be the first sign that something is amiss.  The dark spots are the easy places to start, but did you know that teeth that are dying (yes, teeth can die) also begin to discolor?  Generally it is only a little at first, but over time they can get darker and darker.  Often these teeth also hurt as the nerve begins to die inside but not always.  If caught early, your dentist can help save your tooth.  So, it’s time for a checkup.

Bleeding Gums –  Have you ever found yourself thinking: “It’s ok, lots of people have gums that bleed, right?”  Think again.  It’s the mantra every dental hygienist knows – Healthy Gums Don’t Bleed

When we floss and brush our teeth at home, we aren’t just removing the food and bacteria left on our teeth, we’re also massaging the gums.  This gentle massage keeps the gums tough and the blood moving along.  That’s good because those healthy gums are then prepared to protect the teeth.  Maybe the beginning of gum disease? If your gums are bleeding or even appear red or puffy, you got it – It’s time for a checkup.

If you need a dentist, or think you might need a checkup, let us know – contact us