Most people are good at visiting their dentist for regular checkups and will only go to the dentist at other times if they have lost a tooth, are in significant pain or something else they deem more serious.
However, there are some other reasons that should prompt you to make an appointment with your dentist between regular checkups for yourself or a family member -- reasons that you would perhaps not otherwise worry about. Read on for some of the reasons that inspire a dental visit between checkups.
You have a small mouth ulcer that won't heal
While ulcers in the mouth are not uncommon, if you have one that is not healing then you need to go to your dentist and have it checked out. Mouth ulcers that don't heal on their own can be a sign of oral cancer. If your dentist thinks there is a cause for concern, a biopsy will be taken of your ulcer so further investigation can be carried out. Also, your dentist will be able to see if there are other signs of cancer in areas of your mouth that you may not be able to examine as easily, such as on the roof of your mouth, under your tongue, around your cheeks etc.
You've developed bad breath
If you've noticed your breath has become a little unpleasant lately, it may be worth getting your dentist to check things out. Dentists are trained to identify bad breath as fruity or fishy, and both of these smells can mean various things. Fruity breath can be indicative of Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a potentially life-threatening affliction related to diabetes, while fishy breath could be a sign of something as serious as liver failure. Of course, it could also be something a lot more innocent, but it's worth going to get it checked out, just in case.
Your gums are bleeding
If any other part of your body started bleeding, you'd no doubt rush off to the doctor. However, a lot of people discount bleeding gums and think it's no big deal, perhaps not realising that bleeding gums are a common symptom of periodontal (gum) disease. A lot of the time, periodontal disease is quite mild, but in more serious cases it can lead to major damage to the bone and soft tissue that support the teeth. In the most extreme cases, you could end up losing some of your teeth.
For more information, talk to a dentist.Share
18 July 2016
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.