Getting regular dental checkups every year or every six months can be enough for most adults to ensure that their teeth and gums are healthy and strong. A dentist will take x-rays during these visits to check for cavities and will also give the mouth a thorough exam in order to check for signs of oral cancer and other such health concerns. While these regular visits can be enough for most adults, there are times when you want to see a dentist between visits to have certain symptoms checked or because you may be at an increased risk for health problems. Note the following.
1. If you notice odd lumps or bumps
A canker sore or bite inside your cheeks will often go away after a day or two, but if you notice odd lumps or bumps inside your mouth, it's time to visit a dentist. These can be oral cancer, an infection under the tooth, an impacted wisdom tooth that hasn't broken through the skin yet, oral herpes, and a number of other health concerns. Your dentist can examine the surface of these bumps and take x-rays to determine if they need to be treated and how.
2. If teeth seem worn down and smaller than before
You may notice that your teeth seem worn down and smaller than they were a month ago or a few months ago, and if so, you want to visit your dentist. You may be grinding your teeth at night or may have eroded the enamel of the teeth because of smoking or too many acidic foods. These may need to be addressed and your dentist may want to treat your teeth with a protective covering, or you may need to have them built back up with bonding or veneers in order to protect them.
3. If teeth are split, cracked, or loose
Any small hole or split in the tooth should be looked at by a dentist as soon as possible, as he or she can fill it in and protect the tooth from more erosion. Like a chip in a glass window, that small crack in your tooth can lead to a larger crack and the tooth eventually splitting or breaking. Loose teeth should also be addressed; a dentist can determine why the tooth is loose, whether through injury or decay, and set it with a type of splint so that the roots can grow strong again. This will reduce your risk of losing that tooth altogether.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is time to contact a local dental office, such as Garran Dental.Share
14 September 2015
As a retired dentist, I work with charities which visit developing countries and educate children about dental care. It gives me great satisfaction to revisit these communities and see how proud the children are of their efforts. I am acutely aware that good dental hygiene can help prevent a range of serious conditions when these children become older. I started this blog because it greatly distresses me that many people in Australia do not seem to care for their teeth as much as children in these poor communities. This is happening despite ready access to items like toothbrushes and toothpaste which are luxuries in the places I visit. It is my hope that this blog encourages you not to take dental health for granted. My greatest wish is that you can be as inspired as the children I see in my charity work. Please read on and enjoy.