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Are you brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day, and seeing your dentist for regular six month checkups? If so, congratulations! You are well on your way to a brighter, healthy smile. But there are times when you may need to see your dentist in between these six month cleanings if you are noticing any of the following:

Toothache – If you are suddenly experiencing tooth pain, and it isn’t going away, you may have a cavity or something serious going on.

Gum Inflammation – Sometimes the gums bleed if you brush harshly, or if you have just begun flossing. But swollen or inflamed gums that persist are a sign of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease.

White Spots on Teeth – White spot on tooth enamel are actually the first sign of dental decay. This happens as the acid produced by bacteria starts dissolving tooth enamel. Cavities can arise without any symptoms, so if you see these spots you should see your dentist.

Tooth Sensitivity (Hot vs. Cold) – Increased sensitivity to extreme temperatures are an indication you may have a cavity. You may also have receding gums, which exposes the layer of dentin under the enamel to be exposed.

Canker Sores – Although canker sores are not uncommon, if you experience a canker sore that does not heal in a few days or is unusually large, your dentist can help.

Tartar – Tartar is the hard, whitish material that you see at the gum line, where the teeth meet the gums. This is mineralized plaque, oral bacteria that has hardened. Tartar requires removal by a dental professional using special tools.

Bad breath or taste in the mouth – Prolonged bad breath caused by bacteria in the mouth can be an indication of gingivitis–the early stages of gum disease. Another sign of gingivitis is having a bad, metallic taste in your mouth.

Headaches – Do you wake up with headaches? If you do, you may be grinding your teeth at night. Bruxism occurs when you grind your teeth while you sleep. With time this will wear down tooth enamel. You may need a night guard (a mouth guard specifically for wearing at night) to protect those pearly whites. Teeth grinding can also crack your teeth.

Don’t ignore the signs your mouth is giving you. Prevention is key, but early intervention is the next best thing. If you would like to schedule a visit with our dentist to help restore your healthy smile, please call our East Texas Dental Associates, PC team in Tyler, Texas at 903-509-0505 today!