Dentist showing x-ray

We often put off going to the dentist for a regular check-up. However, these routine visits are useful for spotting the early signs of bigger problems.

There are other ways of spotting these issues early. However, we do often mistake them for other problems or decide to completely ignore them. Here are ten warning signs that you should see your dentist.

1. Your Teeth Are Sensitive to Hot or Cold

A sensitivity to eating or drinking hot or cold things is not uncommon. However, it is important that it is not something that you just dismiss. Sensitive teeth occur for a number of reasons, often it happens when the enamel on your teeth wears down, you have a cavity that needs filling, or your gums have pulled away from your teeth.

You should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can. Your dentist will be able to identify the cause and suggest a treatment method.

SEE ALSO: My Tooth is Suddenly Sensitive to Cold… What Does This Mean?

2. It Hurts When You Chew

Pain in your teeth, while you chew your food, could be one of the warning signs that you have an infected tooth, or it may be that you have a crack in one of your teeth. Either way, you don’t want to let things get any worse, and you certainly don’t want to go through all of that pain whenever you eat.

Make an appointment with your dentist and go and get it checked out.

3. Your Saliva Is Getting Thicker

Your saliva serves to help break down your food and clear off any debris from previous meals that are left on your teeth. When it is working correctly, saliva helps to prevent infection and keep your mouth healthy.

A change in your saliva could be a sign that you have dental problems that need to be addressed. Thick or sticky saliva can make swallowing and speaking difficult. It can make it very difficult for you to feel as though you are able to clean your mouth and put you at greater risk of infection or tooth decay. Visit your dentist to try and find out what the cause is and how it can be fixed.

4. You Notice Lumps Inside Your Mouth

There are several reasons why lumps may form on the inside of your mouth. While they can be something that is fairly harmless such as blocked saliva glands, but there is always a chance that it could be something more serious is wrong.

With anything like this, it is always better to catch a problem earlier, rather than later. To be on the safe side, you should make an appointment to see your dentist to rule out anything major.

5. Your Gums are Receding

If it appears your teeth are getting bigger, then it is probably more likely that your gums are getting smaller. When your gums recede the tissue that surrounds the teeth starts to wear away, exposing more tooth and even the tooth’s root. When this happens it becomes very easy to pick up infections in your teeth and gums.

The first sign of receding gums might be sensitive teeth. When you start to notice these warning signs you should visit your dentist immediately as there are treatments to fix the problem and prevent infection.

SEE ALSO: Why Does My Dentist Poke My Gums and Then Read Off Those Numbers?

6. You Are Experiencing Migraines

Migraines can be almost unbearable. They can completely stop you in your tracks. If you are someone that experiences migraines there could be several different causes. On cause that is often overlooked is bruxism- which is grinding your teeth during your sleep.

The repeated grinding motion puts stress on the joints on your jaw near to your ears. This can be a cause of headaches and migraines.

If you are experiencing migraines and teeth grinding, then you should visit your dentist. They will be able to create a customized mouthpiece that will stop you from grinding your teeth as you sleep.

7. You Have Bad Breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, can be a cause of social anxiety. Knowing that your breath smells can cause you to avoid getting too close to people when you are talking with them. As well as being annoying to have to deal with, it is also one of the warning signs that you may need to pay a visit to your dentist.

There are several causes of bad breath, these might include poor dental hygiene, an infection in your teeth, or even having a dry mouth. Your dentist will be able to identify and treat the root cause of your bad breath.

8. You Clench or Grind Your Teeth

Whether you grind your teeth in your sleep or clench your teeth through stress or anxiety it can cause considerable damage to your teeth. They will wear down, you might find that you develop receding gums, and the muscles around your jaw will ache.

There are ways that dentists can help with preventing you from grinding or clenching teeth. One example might be a mouthguard that you can wear while you sleep.

9. You Hear Ringing In Your Ears

It can be easy to think that problems with your ears, such as ringing or discomfort, would not have anything to do with your teeth, but infections in your gum or in your teeth could cause referred ear pain or ringing in your ears.

If you have an infection that is stopping you from moving your jaw in any way, then this can have a knock-on effect to the temporomandibular joints which sit right next to your ear.

Getting the dentist to look at the problem with your teeth or gums will help ease the symptoms you are experiencing in your ears.

10. Your Gums are Swollen

If you notice that your gums appear different than usual, you should pay attention to this. Swollen or bleeding gums could be a sign that you have an infection or gum disease.

Neglecting infections in your gums could lead to wider health problems such as diabetes or heart disease.