Whether you're trying to save time, money, or just haven't given much thought to seeing the dentist, it can be tempting to think that you don't need a regular cleaning and exam. After all, without any major issues with your teeth or gums, you're probably fine, right? The reality of the situation is that plaque, tartar, and bacteria can build up in the mouth over time, causing problems even without you noticing. Regular cleanings and exams help to combat this and are an important part of your overall dental health. However, if you're having any of the following issues, your need for a dentist is even higher.
Morning Jaw Pain
For many people, waking up with a sore jaw isn't uncommon. It's an unfortunate problem since the pain can sometimes last all day and can even worsen and trigger headaches. However, the basic jaw pain itself is why you need to see a dentist.
For most people, morning jaw pain is due to grinding teeth. If it's happening when you wake up, that means that you're doing it in your sleep. Unfortunately, this isn't possible to control while you're unconscious. To make matters worse, jaw pain is only the beginning of your problems. If you're having that much discomfort, chances are that your teeth are being worn down and may be at a higher risk of enamel damage and decay as a result. A dentist can check you for these problems, repair any damage, and provide you with a grind guard to keep you from hurting yourself further.
Another problem that's often overlooked by people is temporary gum health problems due to PMS. While most people probably think of mood, energy, and pain issues related to PMS, it can have an impact on your gums, too.
Some people experience a form of gum disease that's only triggered during PMS or pregnancy. Due to shifting hormones facilitating either a period or a child, respectively, the gums can become more sensitive and likely to bleed. While some people experience this problem by itself, it often indicates that you have gum disease to begin with, but the symptoms may be so mild that you don't notice until it's aggravated further by hormonal shifts. While a dentist can't do anything about PMS, they can get your gums healthy so that this is no longer a problem.
Bedtime Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is something many people go through, whether due to genetics, medication, dehydration, or something else. While sipping water through the day and night can help to combat its effects, if it's still going on when you go to bed or wake up in the middle of the night, you have a problem on your hands.
Dry mouth allows more bacteria to grow, increasing the risk of gum disease and dental decay. It's not enough to sip water before bed; all the hours you spend asleep, you won't be able to help yourself. Dentists can repair the damage done by dry mouth and also provide you with recommendations for products that can help your body to produce more saliva through the night while you're asleep.