3 Signs That It's Been Too Long Since You Had A Dental Cleaning

It's important for everyone in your family to become established with a family dental care provider. Not only do you need someone to turn to for urgent needs -- like an abscessed tooth -- you also need to keep on top of routine cleanings. If it's been longer than six months since your last cleaning, or if you really don't remember the last time you saw your family dentist, it's time to book an appointment. Here are three easy ways to tell that it's been too long since you last had a professional dental cleaning.

1. You Have Bad Breath

Bad breath isn't just embarrassing; it's also a red flag that something could be brewing along your gum line. Even if you brush twice a day and floss at least once a day, you can still develop tartar and plaque along your gum line. As these bacteria-filled films continue to build up, they start producing a foul odor that even the strongest mint in the world can't cover up. The only way to remove stuck-on tartar and plaque is by scheduling a professional cleaning and exam with your dentist.

2. Your Teeth Are Discolored

If you sip on coffee every day, that's one reason why your teeth might be yellowing. But discolored teeth could also be a sign that something is attacking your tooth enamel, as well as the dentin underneath. This could occur from deep decay or severe tartar that continue to build up if they're not removed through routine cleanings. In some cases, your teeth can become discolored because of your medications. This is why it's important to discuss all of your prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs with your dentist regularly. 

3. Your Gums are Bleeding

Unless you're overexerting yourself while brushing -- which you shouldn't be doing -- your gums shouldn't bleed while brushing, flossing, or eating. If you're noticing blood when you spit after brushing or taste blood while eating, it's time to check in with your dentist. Bleeding gums could be an early warning sign of gum disease. If the condition hasn't progressed too far, your dentist can probably use a scaler to scrape away tartar and plaque from below your gum line. But if gum disease advances to the point where your gums are receding, or your teeth are loose, you're going to need a more complex dental procedure, like a pocket reduction or gum graft.

Your dentist is available to help you, no matter how long it's been since your last cleaning. Call the office to book your next appointment.