Many people have some form of fear when they have to seek help from a medical professional, but none more so than the dentist. It may be the tools, the dentist chair or the fact that someone is looking into your mouth that frightens people. Regardless of the reason, people still need to look after their oral health, and the best way to do that is through regular dentist visits.

But how do you know when the issue is serious enough to spend time and money on the dentist?

You should make an appointment to see your dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms:

Sores and tender areas in the mouth

If the sore does not heal in a week or two, you should have it checked by a dentist. Some sores can be a sign of diabetes and red and white lesions can be a sign of oral cancer.

Bleeding or swollen gums

This is normally a symptom of gum disease and should be treated immediately to stop the spread or worsening of the condition. Gum disease is much more common than you think. According to the American Dental Association, half of all adults older than 30 have gum disease.

Chronic bad breath

This condition can be a sign of gum disease or tooth decay. If your bad breath does not disappear after using chewing gum and maintaining good hygiene, you will need to see a dentist.


Increased sensitivity can be the result of a dental abscess or a bacterial infection. If you experience sensitivity, as well as severe toothache, facial swelling, a fever, or tender lymph nodes, you should seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms are the result of an infection that can be life threatening. Sensitivity also indicates the thinning of tooth enamel or the formation of a cavity.


Any constant pain in the mouth or facial area is a common indicator that there is an issue. Recurring pain and discomfort needs to be addressed by a dentist.

Other warning symptoms include ear pain, hoarseness, jaw swelling, numbness in the tongue or throat area, trouble moving the jaw or tongue, and trouble swallowing.

Generally, everyone should see the dentist every six months. If you have a specific condition or are going through a dental treatment you may be required to visit the dentist more often but two dentist visits a year can provide you with the following benefits.

Benefits to regular dentist visits:
  • A dental exams can identify dental conditions before they become serious problems
  • Provides an opportunity to receive dental advice
  • Benefit from a professional dental cleaning or polish
  • Catch the early signs of a condition

These benefits play an important role in being able to treat a condition quickly and effectively. Dental cleanings also maintain your dental health by preventing common conditions, such as tooth decay and gum disease.