Between shuttling the kids to school and practice, holding down a full-time job, and trying to exercise, it’s hard to find time for anything.
Balancing a busy schedule is commonplace. And it’s great to lead an active life! But it’s imperative that you have your priorities in order, with your health topping that list. Unfortunately, we notice that a lot of people let their dental health fall by the wayside.
Part of a healthy oral hygiene regimen involves visiting a dentist every 6 months, but sometimes, there are telltale signs that you should pay yours a visit a bit sooner. Nashville dentists Drs. Elam, Fleming, and Vaughan are here today to discuss four red flags that indicate it’s time to see the dentist.
1. See the Dentist if Your Gums are Bleeding
One of the things that never fails to shock us at Dentistry of Nashville is just how many people think that it’s normal for their gums to bleed. Bleeding gums are indicative of serious oral health problems that need to be immediately addressed.
Bleeding gums can indicate
- Gingivitis – Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Bleeding, swollen, and tender gums are major indicators of the condition.
- Poor Brushing Habits – If you brush with anything harder than a soft-bristled toothbrush, you’re inflicting major damage on your gums.
- Adverse Reaction to Medications – Certain blood thinners are known to cause the gums to bleed.
If you notice a little blood in the sink, don’t ignore it. Get to your dentist as soon as you can.
2. See the Dentist if You Drink Coffee or Alcohol Regularly
We understand that it’s a tall task to ask our patients to quit their coffee habits. For some people, a morning cup of joe (or two) is the only way to properly start their days. Couple that with a few drinks of alcohol at night and your teeth are in major danger.
Tinted drinks like coffee, soda, and red wine have dark pigment in their chemical makeup, which can get stuck in the microscopic cracks of your enamel. If you don’t clean them promptly and properly, your teeth can end up permanently stained.
Next time you look in the mirror, check to see if your enamel has yellow or brown stains. If you notice some, give your dentist a call. It may be time to schedule a deep cleaning.
3. See the Dentist if You’re in Pain
You probably want to see the dentist anyway if you have a toothache. Toothaches are much more than minor inconveniences—they’re crises. They can be distracting, painful, and indicative of much more severe health problems.
Common causes of toothaches include:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Malocclusion (bad bite)
- Teeth grinding
If your mouth is in pain, don’t ignore it. The condition may not go away on its own. Keep your toothaches at bay by visiting your Nashville dentist as soon as you feel that something isn’t quite right.
4. See the Dentist if You Have Headaches
Headaches and oral health are closely linked. If you wake up in the morning with headaches, you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep. This not only causes a bad headache but can lead to damaged teeth and jaw disorders.
Plus, your dental health and sinuses are connected. When your sinuses grow inflamed due to sinusitis or sinus infections, your upper teeth and jaw can start to ache. Persistent and recurrent sinusitis can cause you to breathe through your mouth, which may dry it out and allow the bacteria to grow more quickly.
Make an Appointment with Your Nashville Dentist
Regular visits to the dentist can help prevent long-term oral health problems and ensure that your teeth stay healthy and strong. Make an appointment with Dentistry of Nashville to take charge of your oral health and maintain a bright and happy smile.