Two signs that it’s time to go for a dental check-up

There are a number of signs which can indicate that you may be in need of a dental check-up. Here are two such signs.

You have chronic halitosis

If you suffer from chronic halitosis (otherwise known as bad breath), even though you brush and floss your teeth very thoroughly at least twice a day, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible.

The reason for this is as follows; bad breath which does not go away even after brushing and flossing is often an indication of a dental health problem called gingivitis.

Gingivitis is a type of gum infection and is considered to be the first stage of periodontal disease (more commonly referred to as gum disease). This infection is the result of dental calculus (bacterial plaque which has solidified on the surface of the teeth) inflaming and irritating the gums.

This infection can cause a whole host of symptoms, including swelling and bleeding of the gums, as well as chronic halitosis.

If this infection goes unresolved for too long, it will eventually evolve into periodontitis, at which point there may be irreversible damage to both the teeth and the gums.

As such, it is critical to see your dentist about your bad breath. If during the check-up, they discover that you are suffering from gingivitis, they can then perform a scale-and-polish to remove the dental calculus that is the inflaming the gums and causing the infection. This should resolve both the gingivitis and the halitosis.

There are permanent yellow patches on your teeth

Many people assume that the yellow patches that develop on their teeth are the result of drinking too many tannin-rich drinks, such as tea and coffee.

Whilst in some cases, this may be true, these yellow patches can also be a sign that the enamel of the teeth has eroded to such an extent that the teeth's dentin layer has become visible (dentin has a yellowish tint).

If you suspect this may be the cause of the discolouration, it is important to go to the dentist promptly. If you do not, the bacterial plaque in your mouth may continue to erode your teeth and eventually cause cavities.

In this situation, your dentist may recommend that you have veneers or crowns fitted; these will not only mask the dentin and thus give you a whiter smile, but will also prevent further erosion of the affected teeth.