Obviously you know you should see the dentist when your teeth are sore, or when you have bleeding gums or some other oral ailment. However, there are other life and health changes that should prompt you to call the dentist — and they don't all have to do with your teeth and gums. Take a look:
There is a rumor in some circles that women should not see the dentist when pregnant, but this is simply not true. There are some dental procedures, like implants and extractions, that your dentist may prefer to postpone until after you give birth. But it is a very good idea to see the dentist for a cleaning and checkup early in your pregnancy. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can make you more prone to tooth decay and gum disease, so starting off with clean teeth is to your advantage.
Definitely make an appointment with the dentist when you begin menopause, too. The drop in estrogen levels causes dry mouth in women, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist can look for signs of dry mouth, and if they feel you might have it, they can recommend a mouthwash to maintain your moisture levels and prevent the longer-term effects of dryness.
3. Heart Disease
If you are diagnosed with heart disease, it is a good idea to see the dentist. Heart disease and gum disease are closely linked — it is presumed that the bacteria that cause gum disease also contribute to inflammation that is involved in atherosclerosis. Your dentist can check you for signs of gum disease, and if needed, provide services like dental scaling to nip gum disease in the bud. This will be good for your heart, too!
4. Autoimmune Conditions
If you are diagnosed with an auto-immune condition, this should also prompt a visit to the dentist. Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus can affect the mouth in several ways. They may cause dry mouth, which can cause gum disease, or they might even make you more prone to thrush. Your dentist can catch these issues early when they're easiest to treat and manage.
Your overall health and your dental health are pretty closely related. If you experience any of the diagnoses or changes above, it's best to make a dental appointment soon, just to be on the safe side. Learn more about dental services in your area today.