Patients often don’t connect the dots between their own oral health and their general wellness. This is an unfortunate tendency, because there is a significant link. The truth is that physical ailments affect your oral health too, and vice versa. When you’re in a lot of pain, you don’t want to think about your mouth. Many people with dental issues also have medical problems; it’s not unheard of for patients to have cardiac symptoms because of advanced gum disease. If you avoid going to the dentist because you’re afraid of what will be found or because you are used to living with pain, it could lead to more serious consequences later.

When you visit the dentist, you want to be able to trust that they’re looking out for your best interest. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for patients to experience a bad experience with a dentist or dental office, and some of these can be extremely detrimental to your oral health. Not all bad experiences are created equal, though. If you notice any of the following signs, you may want to consider finding a new dentist—or even going in for a check-up sooner than you planned:

A toothache. Toothaches can be caused by a cavity or other dental problem. If you feel pain when you eat or drink something cold, it’s time to see a dentist.

Tooth sensitivity. If your teeth feel sensitive when drinking cold or hot liquids or after brushing your teeth, it could be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease may cause receding gums and tooth loss if left untreated.

Changes in the color of your teeth. A change in the color of dentin — the layer just under the enamel — could indicate decay on your teeth, but it can also be caused by aging and exposure to certain chemicals or foods like coffee or tea.

Changes in bite pattern or jaw pain . Biting down on hard foods can cause pain in your jaw or neck, but chewing also helps clean your teeth and prevent gum disease so if this is happening more often than usual, contact your dentist right away!

Your teeth are loose or wobbly. A tooth that feels loose may be the result of decay underneath the gum line or a crack in the root structure of the tooth. In either case, it’s important to see a dentist right away to prevent further damage and preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible.

You’re pregnant or have recently given birth and haven’t had regular dental checkups before becoming pregnant (or during pregnancy). During pregnancy, women have an increased risk of developing gingivitis (inflammation) and periodontal disease (infection.) You can contact The Tooth Spa for more information.

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