Last year, 7 per cent of adults in New Zealand – that's about 262,000 people – had a tooth removed due to decay, abscesses, infection or gum disease, according to the New Zealand Health Survey 2015/16. The same survey revealed that less than half of adults had been to see the dentist over the course of the year.
Visiting the dentist sooner might have helped some of these people save their teeth. So, how do you know when you should visit the dentist? Keep an eye out for these signs.
Pain is one of the most obvious signs that something is wrong.
1. You're having trouble eating or sleeping
Pain is one of the most obvious signs that something is wrong. If you experience pain when you bite down on food, if you're having trouble chewing or you have a persistent toothache that is bothering you, you should see a dentist, fast! These symptoms could be signs you need professional treatment.
2. You are sensitive to hot and cold
Having sensitive teeth can sometimes be a harmless condition that occurs when nerve endings become exposed, but it can also be an indicator of a much more serious problem. Often if sensitivity goes along with symptoms such as toothache, swollen or tender gums, it could be a sign of dental infection.
3. You try to hide your smile
Covering your mouth with your hand or trying to keep your mouth closed when you smile could be good indicators that you need to visit your dentist. You should never feel self-conscious about your smile!
Cosmetic issues such as yellowed, chipped or crooked teeth can be easily dealt with through treatments such as professional whitening, dental veneers or dental crowns. Come in to speak to us if you want to find out more about how smile design can transform your smile.
4. You have a medical condition
Medical conditions such as diabetes can make oral health problems worse. Some medications you may be taking for medical conditions can also compromise your mouth health, so it's important to get a check up and ask your dentist whether you need to be concerned.
Even if you don't have any obvious symptoms of oral health problems, you should still visit your dentist at least once a year for a check up. Make an appointment to come and see us and we will make sure your teeth stay ship-shape!