1. Annual check up. 'Nuff said.
2. Accidents. Patients make more emergency appointments in spring and summer, injuring their teeth in sports or DIY projects in the yard or garage.
3. Other medical treatments. Radiation, hormone replacement therapy, and certain prescription drugs can have an impact on teeth and gums.
4. Pregnancy. Hormones can accelerate tooth decay and gingivitis.
5. Sensitivity to hot or cold. This could mean your teeth have worn down to the point that the root or nerve are exposed.
6. Pain. Toothaches can be brutal.
7. Swelling in your face or neck. This could be caused by a tooth problem you can't see, like gum disease or infected roots.
8. Bleeding gums. Even a little blood in the sink on a regular basis warrants attention, because gum disease won't get better on its own.
9. Dry mouth. Not producing enough saliva can lead to tooth decay.
10. Bad breath. It's not only embarrassing, it could indicate oral infection.
11. Your jaw pops or locks. Trouble opening and closing your mouth could be temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
12. Tongue trouble. Sores and spots on your tongue could be caused by simple irritation or something more serious and you should get them checked out.
13. A better smile. Dentists are your go-to for tooth whitening.
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