Oral health is an important part of your overall health. Regular dental visits are important because they can help spot oral health problems early on when treatment is likely to be simpler and more affordable. They also help prevent many oral problems from developing in the first place. Visiting your dentist regularly is also important because some diseases or medical conditions have symptoms that can appear in the mouth.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, your dentist has implemented new protocols to make your visits as safe as possible, so you can continue with your regular dental visits. Learn more about how your dentist is keeping you and dental staff safe at MouthHealthy.org/backtodentist.

Here are 15 signs you should see a dentist:

  • Your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold.
  • Your gums are puffy and/or they bleed when you brush or floss.
  • You have fillings, crowns, dental implants, or dentures.
  • You don’t like the way your smile or teeth look.
  • You have persistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You have pain or swelling in your mouth, face or neck.
  • You have difficulty chewing or swallowing.
  • You have a family history of gum disease or tooth decay.
  • You have a medical condition such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eating disorders, or are HIV positive.
  • Your mouth is often dry.
  • You smoke or use other tobacco products.
  • You are undergoing medical treatment such as radiation, chemotherapy or hormone replacement therapy.
  • Your jaw sometimes pops or is painful when opening and closing, chewing or when you first wake up; you have an uneven bite.
  • You have a spot or sore that doesn’t look or feel right in your mouth and it isn’t going away.