Is Once A Year Enough? How To Know When To Book An Unscheduled Dentist Appointment

Dental health is the area of health we tend to neglect the most. Parents will always tell their kids that it’s so important to look after their teeth and gums and they’ll book regular visits to the dentist, but when was the last time you had a checkup?

Is Once A Year Enough? How To Know When To Book An Unscheduled Dentist Appointment

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People of all ages need to have routine dental checkups once a year or so to make sure that there are no underlying issues. Regular examinations and cleaning will help keep your smile looking amazing and prevent any serious conditions that lead to tooth loss.

However, there are some situations when you should book an unscheduled appointment with your dentist, even if you have recently been in for a checkup. Unfortunately, people assume that once a year is enough and they don’t need to visit more regularly. This means that serious problems can be left unchecked and allowed to get worse over time because they might not be picked up for almost a year.

In most cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry. These are some of the common situations when you should book an unscheduled visit to the dentist.

Excessive Tooth Pain

The pain of a toothache is the worst type of pain because it’s so hard to concentrate on anything else when you have constant throbbing or sharp pains in your mouth. You don’t know what kind of damage has been done and it might be much worse than you think, meaning that immediate treatment is required.

If you’re suffering from an infection and experiencing unbearable amounts of discomfort, then contact your dentist pronto and get them to sort out the problem. It could save you a lot more discomfort later on if they can stop the issue early on before it spreads any further. But if you ignore it, the infection could spread and you may end up losing the whole tooth, or worse.

Excessive tooth pain could also be caused by a crown or filling that has come loose. It’s important to have these professionally fitted which can sometimes cause discomfort if they aren’t placed properly. If you’re experiencing pain around the gums where one of your crowns is, then it could be that there is a small bubble underneath the tooth causing pressure on the surrounding area.

Damage to the tooth can cause pain too. If there is a crack in the tooth, this makes it easier for bacteria and plaque to get inside and can lead to problems with tooth decay, so you need to get it fixed right away.

Swollen Gums

Swollen gums can sometimes be a sign that you need to brush and floss more regularly. If you are not taking care of your teeth and gums properly, you will develop gum disease. When left untreated, this will eventually lead to tooth loss and other severe oral health problems. However, if you see your dentist as soon as you notice a small amount of swelling, gum disease is easily dealt with.

There are times when swelling could be a symptom of something even worse than gum disease. Rapid swelling can indicate an abscess which is extremely painful and will make life almost unbearable for the sufferer.

Left untreated, an abscess will continue to get bigger and may result in the infection spreading to other parts of your mouth or even your neck. This would lead to fever and sickness as well as intense throbbing pain around the mouth area. If you experience this kind of reaction, then contact your dentist immediately and they’ll deal with it professionally before things turn into a major health problem.

White Spots On Your Teeth And Gums

White spots on your teeth and gums could be a sign of oral cancer. If you see anything like this, then it’s best to go straight to a periodontist (like this one at to get an oral cancer screening. They will do a thorough examination and work out what is causing these white patches if it isn’t cancer.

White spots can also be caused by an infection in the mouth, so even if you don’t have oral cancer, it’s still vital that you get treatment right away. If you have white spots on your teeth, they are likely to be caused by tooth decay. Either way, this is a symptom you should never ignore because it’s almost always caused by something serious.

Extreme Sensitivity To Temperature

You may not know this but extreme sensitivity to temperature conditions is a sign that you have nerve damage. It can be caused by gum disease, so it’s important to get an urgent appointment with your dentist so they can check for any damage and treat the infection before it causes any serious problems.

If you experience pain when drinking hot or cold foods and liquids, then this is most likely due to tooth decay which is what has caused the nerve damage. You should go straight to your dentist because untreated tooth decay could lead to other more severe oral health problems in the future if not treated professionally first.

Some people experience mild sensitivity all of the time and there are medicated toothpaste products to help with that. If you have always had sensitive teeth, you don’t need to worry too much because there are a lot of reasons for it (visit for more information). However, if they suddenly become very sensitive when you have never experienced an issue before, that is a cause for concern.

Grinding Teeth

If you wake up with aching jaws and painful teeth, then this could be because you’re grinding your teeth at night. Grinding can be caused by stress or if you suffer from a medical condition called bruxism where sufferers grind their teeth without even realizing they are doing it. Teeth grinding is bad for your enamel and over time will cause damage to the roots of the tooth leading to long-term pain, inflammation, and infection.

If you do find yourself grinding your teeth in your sleep, there are things that can help. Wearing a mouth guard while you sleep reduces the effects of nighttime teeth grinding as it limits how much pressure can be put on them when gnashing occurs during slumber. It’s best to get this treated sooner rather than later or it will do a lot of damage to your teeth.

Keeping up with your routine dental appointments is important but if you notice any of these changes, you need to book an unscheduled appointment right away.

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Jess Benoit

Jess is a homeschooling mama of 3, wife, gamer, Whovian, Nerd

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