Regular dental appointments can help to ensure that your gums and teeth stay healthy. If you develop a minor but ongoing issue when your next scheduled checkup is still several months away, what should you do? The following symptoms are not necessarily dental emergencies but are good reasons to move your next dental checkup forward if possible.
1. Bleeding Gums
Gums that bleed easily are often one of the first symptoms of gum disease or gum inflammation (gingivitis). If gum disease is left untreated, it can spread into the jaw bone and cause bone loss, leading to severe infections and the loss of multiple teeth. However, when gum disease is caught early, dentists can easily treat it using medicated mouth rinses, removal of tartar from the teeth, or even surgeries below the gum line to get rid of bacteria.
Many people ignore gums that bleed when they brush their teeth or floss until they already have a severe case of gum disease. To avoid getting into that situation, schedule an early dental checkup as soon as you start to see blood in the basin when you brush.
A mild but persistent toothache is annoying, but many people with busy schedules can put it to the back of their minds. However, ignoring a toothache can result in problems in the long term. A toothache is often the first sign of a dental cavity. Dentists can easily treat small cavities with dental fillings, but decay that has spread deeper into the tooth might require a root canal or tooth extraction.
Toothache that is so severe that it interferes with your daily life is a dental emergency. Milder toothache still requires attention from a dentist as soon as they can fit you in for a regular appointment.
3. Sores or Ulcers That Won't Heal
Most people have had the experience of accidentally biting their tongue or the inside of their cheek, leading to a sore or ulcer that takes a few days to heal. But if you get ulcers that aren't simply the result of occasional accidents, or sores that do not heal after a few days, be sure to schedule a dental checkup. Ulcers can be a sign of oral cancer. This disease is very treatable if it's caught early but much more difficult to cure if it is not detected until after it has started to spread.
To learn more about addressing these issues, contact a local dentist.