When It's a Good Idea to Visit Your Local Dentist

Posted on: 30 September 2015


It's usually recommended that a person visit their dentist at least once every year for a thorough exam and checkup and to get their teeth cleaned properly. You may have certain conditions that require you to visit your dentist more often, such as if you smoke, which may put you at increased risk for oral cancer. However, there are times when it's good to visit your local dentist in between your annual checkup.

1. Before traveling

If you're going to be traveling for an extended time period to a location that does not offer quality dental care, or if your insurance won't cover the cost of dental care while abroad, you may want to visit your local dentist before you leave. If you're developing cavities, you may want to get them filled before your trip. Your dentist may also see certain signs and symptoms of other oral health concerns. If those concerns are very serious, you may want to cancel your trip, arrange to visit a dentist at a nearby location, or arrange to come home for a short time to see your dentist again.

2. When teeth are suddenly out of alignment

If you notice that your teeth seem to be moving, it's good to visit your dentist. It may be that your wisdom teeth are coming in and there isn't room for them, so other teeth get moved around to make that room. There may also be other damage to the tooth roots that is causing them to move, and if ignored, the teeth may continue to move. A dentist can remove impacted wisdom teeth or put a splint on your teeth to keep them from moving while they heal from whatever damage you've suffered.

3. When you're suddenly in pain from eating and drinking

An extreme sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages can mean that your tooth roots are now exposed, which often signals that you have cavities that need to be filled. You may also have the beginnings of gum disease or another condition that makes your gums very sensitive to certain foods. You may also have sores inside the mouth that are not healing and which get irritated from eating and drinking. Whatever the cause, if you were to ignore this pain, the condition may simply get worse over time. Cavities can continue to grow, and sores that don't heal may bring on infections that can damage your teeth and even your overall health.

While it's important to see your dentist for a thorough exam from time to time, you should also make the time for an extra appointment if the situations above apply to you, or if you have any unexplained pain in your mouth.