16 Signs You Need to See a Dentist

How can you know when it’s time to visit your dentist? Maybe you experience dental symptoms or have unanswered questions that leave you wondering. We at Boulevard Dental don’t want you to wonder any longer. That is why we have summarized two, online ADA Mouth Healthy articles that list the signs that indicate that it’s time to see your dentist.

The ADA online Mouth Healthy article, “12 Signs You Need to See a Dentist” lists the following tell-tale signs that it’s time for a dental visit:

1) You Have Pain (or Swelling)

Pain or swelling in your mouth, face or neck can mean a number of things, all of which should be evaluated by your dentist.

2) Your Gums Are Acting Up

Make an appointment if your gums are puffy and if they bleed when you brush or floss.

3) Difficulty Swallowing or Chewing  

It is not the norm to have difficulty swallowing or chewing. But before you can see your dentist, eat soft or more liquefied foods.

4) Your Mouth Has Spots and Sores

Mouth spots or sores are an issue of concern if they last a week or longer, and if they don’t look or feel right in your mouth. The types of mouth sores mentioned in the article include canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia and candidiasis. Mouth sores could be a symptom of a disease or disorder, an infection from bacteria, viruses or fungus, or the result of irritation caused by braces, dentures or the sharp edge of a broken tooth or filling.

5) You Have Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can be a sign of either a medial issue or a medication side effect. In light of this, your dentist’s evaluation is important.

6) You Use Any Kind of Tobacco

Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can lead to conditions from bad breath to oral cancer, harming both your overall and dental health.

7) You’ve Had Previous Dental Work

You want to be sure that your previous dental work remains in good condition. This applies to past fillings, crowns, dental implants or dentures that you have had done.

8) You Have Ongoing Medical Issues

Your dentist should be informed about any medical conditions that you may have so that they can become part of your medical team. Inform your dentist if you have any of the following medical conditions: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eating disorders or HIV positive.

9) Undergoing Medical Treatment

As part of your medical team, your dentist will also want to know if you are undergoing medical treatment, such as radiation, chemotherapy or hormone replacement therapy.

10) You’re Pregnant

Some dental problems worsen during pregnancy. Therefore, you don’t want to miss your regular check-up during this period. The article adds that it is safe to see the dentist while pregnant.

11) It’s Time For Your Check-up

Check-ups prevent problems from developing and treat existing conditions before they can worsen. This is why it is very important to maintain your regular dental check-ups as prescribed by your dentist.

12) You Don’t Like the Way Your Teeth Look

The way your smile looks is also important. See your dentist when you have missing teeth or if you desire a whiter smile. Your dentist can then discuss with you the options you have to improve your smile.

The online Mouth Healthy ADA article, “Your Top 9 Questions About Going to the Dentist—Answered!” lists these additional signs that it is time to see your dentist:

13) Jaw Popping or Pain

You should see your dentist if your jaw sometimes pops or is painful when opening and closing, chewing, when you first wake up, or in the case of an uneven bite.

14) Teeth Sensitivity

Look out for teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold.

15) Persistent Bad Breath or Bad Taste

Persistent bad breath or bad taste may indicate underlying dental issues. You will want to find out what these issues might be to mitigate potential future problems.

16) Family History of Gum Disease or Tooth Decay

Visit your dentist if you have a family history of gum disease or tooth decay. This family history could predispose you to a greater risk of these diseases.

You don’t want to make the mistake of waiting too long to see your dentist. The good news is, you don’t have to make that mistake. You can use the above signs to help you evaluate when it’s time to visit the dentist. And don’t forget, call your dentist’s office if you have any dental concerns at all, and they can help you determine if it is in fact important that you address the issues you are having. But please, don’t ignore the signs!


ADA. 12 Signs You Need to See a Dentist. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/top-reasons-to-visit-dentist. Accessed October 6, 2020.

ADA. Your Top 9 Questions About Going to the Dentist—Answered! Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/questions-about-going-to-the-dentist. Accessed October 6, 2020.