Toothache or Sensitivity
Of course, if you are experiencing dental pain, you need to make a dental appointment. If your pain is slight and only in response to hot or cold foods, it may not be urgent and you can just take the next available spot. But if your teeth hurt spontaneously, or if the discomfort lasts a long time, keeps you up at night, or interferes with daily activities, you need to make an emergency appointment.
Hard Deposits Growing on Teeth
If you notice hard scaly deposits growing on your teeth, it’s time to make a dentist appointment. This is dental calculus, also called tartar, and it’s basically fossilized dental plaque. It serves as a shelter for oral bacteria, allowing them to spread more easily into your gums, causing damage to your tooth roots and bones, which can lead to tooth loss.
Swollen Gums or Lengthening Teeth
If you notice that your gums are red and inflamed, it’s likely you’ve got gum disease, an infection around your teeth. It may be relatively minor at this point, but it can worsen quickly, threatening not just your teeth, but your heart, lungs, kidneys and more.
If you notice your teeth seem to be getting longer, it’s not that your teeth are growing, it’s that your gums are receding. Receding gums will expose your tooth roots and put your teeth at risk.
Blood in the Sink after Brushing or Flossing
It’s not normal for your gums to bleed after brushing or flossing. If you notice blood in the sink after you brush or floss, or if you taste blood after eating, it’s a sign that you have gum disease. Bleeding gums make it easier for bacteria to travel through your blood to your heart and kidneys.
Bad Breath or Taste
Everybody gets garlic breath once in a while, but if you notice that you have bad breath all day long and it doesn’t respond to brushing your teeth or using mouthwash, it’s likely you have an infection in your mouth, either gum disease or an infected tooth. Sometimes you might not notice the smell, but have a bad taste in your mouth all the time.
It’s also worth noting that really bad morning breath could be a sign of sleep apnea.
What Are You Waiting for?
Dental conditions are progressive. That means they tend to worsen with time. The longer you put off your dental visit, the more involved (and more expensive) treatment is likely to be.