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Taking care of your oral health starts with the basic essentials; daily brushing and flossing and even using a mouthwash to help reduce bacteria. Getting professional dental cleanings every six months helps keep your teeth and gums in their best shape as well. But what happens if you experience symptoms in between oral cleanings? Signs that you may need to see your dentist before a six month scheduled exam might include the following:

Headaches Waking up with chronic headaches is a sign that you might be grinding your teeth while you are sleeping. Also known as bruxism, this habit can wear down tooth enamel if left unchecked. You may need the help of a night guard (a mouth guard worn at night) to protect your teeth against erosion or cracks and find relief for your headaches.

Tooth Sensitivity If you feel brief, sharp pain whenever you consume something hot or cold, you may have a cavity or even gum recession, which allows the sensitive layer of dentin (and the tubules leading to the nerves) under the tooth enamel to be exposed.

White Spots If you are noticing white spots on a tooth, you may be experiencing early signs of dental decay. You can have a cavity even if you aren’t feeling pain or showing any symptoms (pain when biting, visible holes, etc.).

Toothache Tooth pain that doesn’t go away indicates that you may have a cavity. This is a hole in the tooth that may reach the tooth pulp, where the nerves may be exposed, causing pain.

Gum Inflammation Gums that are chronically inflamed or infected are signs of gingivitis, or gum disease. Left untreated, gingivitis is the major cause of tooth loss in adults.

Canker Sores Anything from trauma to the mouth, to emotional stress or illness can trigger mouth sores, or “canker” sores. While they generally disappear on their own, if they persist or are unusually large, this may indicate something more serious.

Tartar Oral bacteria cause plaque, and plaque which is mineralized is hardened tartar. Tartar develops along the gum line, where the teeth meet the gums, and requires removal by a dental professional using scaling tools.

Halitosis If you are persistently experiencing bad breath no matter how much you clean your mouth, or notice a metallic taste in the mouth, you may have the early stages of gum disease.

Our dentists, Dr. Rostami and Dr. Emami are happy to help you stay healthy in between scheduled cleanings. To restore your healthy smile, you can schedule a visit with our Basking Ridge Dental Group dental team in Basking Ridge, New Jersey by calling 908-509-4428 today!