Regular dental exams are an important part of any oral health care regimen. After all, they allow you to catch and correct small issues before they blossom into major problems. However, there are definitely times when you shouldn’t wait for your next checkup to get a concern checked out. How do you know if you need to see the dentist sooner rather than later? If you experience any of these five signs, don’t delay. Make a dentist appointment as soon as possible.

1. A Tooth Is Out of Place
They may be tough, but teeth aren’t made of stone. They are living tissue, and if they are knocked out of their socket, they can die. If a tooth is knocked out, it’s an emergency. If you are able, put the tooth back in its socket and call your dentist—now!  Only an immediate response will prevent the permanent loss of the tooth. In this situation, it’s vital that you see an emergency dentist pronto. What if a tooth is out of alignment or loose? Even if it isn’t causing pain, the tooth may be at risk. If you don’t want to lose it, see your local dentist without delay.

2. A Tooth Is Broken or Chipped
When a tooth breaks or chips, it’s wise to schedule a dentist appointment promptly. A minor chip in an out-of-the-way spot may require nothing more than a little cosmetic dentistry to restore its appearance. A more serious break or one in a vulnerable place may need a major repair like a crown or a veneer. Your dentist can evaluate the damage and review your options with you so that you can make the best choice for your individual situation.

3. Sensitive Teeth Are Causing Discomfort
Is chewing painful? Does contact with anything hot or cold make you wince? When sensitive teeth cause discomfort, it’s a sign that you need to schedule a dental exam. Problems like cavities, failing fillings and even plaque buildup can trigger sensitivity. When they’re addressed quickly, fixing these issues is generally easy and affordable. If they’re allowed to persist, resolving them is generally more difficult and more expensive.

4. Gums Are Tender or Bleeding
Gums that are red, swollen, tender or prone to bleeding are a red flag for periodontal disease. Left untreated, this inflammation can lead to infections, abscesses, gum recession, bone loss and tooth loss. However, if gum inflammation is addressed quickly, a thorough cleaning may be all that’s necessary to combat the problem.

5. Bad Breath Is a Persistent Problem
Halitosis is more than embarrassing. It’s a sign that you need to visit your dentist without delay. Persistent bad breath can be the result of gum disease, chronic sinus infections, uncontrolled diabetes, medication and other medical issues. A visit to the dentist can help you pinpoint the problem’s source so that you can take action to protect your health.

Whether you need an emergency dentist appointment or a routine checkup, Wekiva Dental is ready to assist you with your smile. We delight in providing friendly, affordable dental care to patients in the Longwood and Orlando area. Contact us today at 407-869-7333 to ask about our cosmetic and general dentistry services or to request an appointment.