About 12.2% of children have untreated dental caries. Children aren’t the only ones neglecting their oral health, though. About 26% of adults have untreated dental caries, too.

In fact, only 64.9% of adults have visited a dentist in the past year. If you’re not scheduling regular teeth cleaning appointments, your oral health could suffer. You could experience tooth decay, gum disease, or worse.

Not sure if it’s time for your next dental appointment? Here are five signs you need to schedule a cleaning ASAP. Reviewing this guide will help you make a more informed decision for your oral health.

Don’t neglect to keep your teeth squeaky clean. Keep reading to discover the top five signs it’s time to visit the dentist today.

1. Discolored Teeth

Many people spend hundreds of dollars every year trying to keep their teeth sparkling white. Unfortunately, different foods and beverages can impact the appearance of your smile. If you’re a coffee drinker or smoker, take a look at your teeth in a mirror.

Medications and foods can cause your teeth to appear discolored, too.

If you’re worried about the appearance of your teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Regular cleanings can help you minimize the damage.

Your dentist can also offer recommendations to help you keep your teeth sparkling year-round.

2. Bad Breath

Do you have bad breath that never seems to go away, despite how often you brush your teeth? You could develop bad breath due to the medications you’re taking. Otherwise, infection or chronic health problems could impact your breath.

If you’ve developed chronic bad breath, consider your dental health. Schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. They’ll make sure your bad breath isn’t a sign of a bigger problem like gingivitis.

In order to break down food particles, the bacteria in your mouth will mix with your saliva. This process produces an unpleasant gas.

Brushing your teeth twice a day can help keep the bacteria to a minimum.

Otherwise, you might need to schedule a cleaning. Bad breath might indicate a chronic dental infection. You’ll need a dentist’s help to remove the infection from your teeth or gums.

3. Bleeding Gums

A bacterial infection could cause gingivitis, or inflammation to your gums. Without treatment, inflammation could develop into periodontitis. Gingivitis and periodontitis are major causes of tooth loss in adults.

Gingivitis forms when plaque and tartar start to build against the surface of your teeth. Plaque can get trapped in the space along your gum line.

Plaque is a film of bacteria that can harden over time. When plaque hardens into tartar, you’ll need to visit a dentist to remove it. Otherwise, an infection could form.

Gingivitis could cause your gums to separate from your teeth. Your tooth could even become loose or unstable.

If you start experiencing symptoms of gingivitis, it’s time to schedule your next teeth cleaning. Symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Swollen, tender, or red gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Pus between your gums and teeth
  • A change to how your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Gums that bleed when your brush or floss your teeth
  • Partial dentures that no longer fit
  • Foul-smelling breath that doesn’t go away after you brush your teeth
  • Loose teeth

Treating gum disease can get expensive. Your dentist might suggest a deep cleaning, antibiotic medications, or surgery.

Deep cleaning techniques include scaling, root planing, and lasers. These treatment options can remove the plaque and tartar from above and below your gum line.

You can prevent gum disease by going to the dentist regularly. Consider brushing your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, too. Don’t forget to floss every day as well.

Otherwise, leaving food particles between your teeth could give plaque and tartar the chance to form.

If your gums start bleeding when you brush or floss, talk to your dentist right away.

4. Plaque and Tartar

Food particles can mix with the bacteria in your mouth to form plaque. Remember, plaque is a film-like substance that can cling to the surface of your teeth. When you don’t brush the plaque away, the bacteria can mineralize into tartar.

Tartar is a hard, white-colored substance. You might notice tartar where your gum line and teeth meet.

Tartar could impact the appearance of your smile.

Remember, you can’t remove tartar on your own. Instead, you’ll need to schedule a teeth cleaning.

If you’re managing your oral hygiene and still noticing plaque formation, talk to your dentist. They can provide helpful tips for improving your oral health.

Let your dentist know if you’re worried about tooth decay, too. Are you experiencing pain when you eat and chew? You might not realize you have a cavity until it’s too late.

Going to the dentist for routine cleanings can help you catch a cavity before it fully develops. You can repair the tooth quickly before it becomes a huge expense.

Otherwise, treatment might require a root canal and crown. You’ll need to schedule multiple dentist office visits for treatment.

5. It’s Been Six Months

When was the last time you scheduled a dentist office visit? Even if your teeth are sparkling clean, don’t neglect to schedule an appointment. Going to the dentist twice a year can help you avoid bigger problems.

Scheduling appointments twice a year can help you protect your teeth. You can avoid bacteria buildup, plaque, and tooth decay. If you start developing a problem, your dentist can spot it right away.

You can fix the issue before it has a major impact on your oral health.

Talk to your dentist about your dental health. They’ll help you determine how often you need to schedule appointments.

Brush Up: 5 Signs It’s Time for a Teeth Cleaning ASAP

Don’t neglect your dental health! Instead, keep an eye out for these five signs it’s time for a teeth cleaning. If these signs sound familiar, it’s time to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Want to discuss your oral health with a professional you can count on? We’re here to help.

Request an appointment with our team today to get started.