Usually, it is recommended to visit your dentist at least annually, depending on your overall oral health, age, and other such factors. While these regular visits can ensure that you get a proper exam and that dental problems are addressed before they become serious, nothing can guarantee that you won't experience oral health issues between those routine appointments. Note when to visit the dentist in between your regular checkups, so you don't assume certain dental issues are minor when they may actually be quite serious.
Severe dry mouth along with halitosis
You might get an occasional bout of dry mouth from eating something that absorbs water, but chronic dry mouth can be very serious, as saliva washes away germs and bacteria and keeps your mouth healthy. Dry mouth can also be a symptom of other health problems, including diabetes. If you have bad breath along with dry mouth, this often means the condition is chronic and serious; it may even signal an oral infection, infected tonsils, or a digestive issue. Your dentist will examine your mouth for decay or other causes of dry mouth or even recommend you see your general physician to check for other health concerns.
Swollen or inflamed gums are not just signs of irritation from brushing but are often caused by plaque or hardened substances that form under the gum line. If left unchecked, this plaque can lead to gingivitis or gum disease. Eventually, this could affect your teeth and lead to tooth loss. Inflamed gums may also be a sign of an oral infection, and this infection could spread in your body or settle under a tooth and cause tooth loss. You may have also suffered a mouth injury and the tooth roots are coming loose, and a dentist may want to put a splint on the tooth to keep it in place.
White spots on teeth
If your teeth show any white spots especially near the ends or caps, this is often a sign of erosion of the enamel. This enamel protects the teeth from chipping and other such damage, so you don't want to overlook this. Those spots may be decay that has formed because the enamel has worn off, and this decay usually just gets worse over time, putting you at risk for cavities and even tooth loss. A dentist may be able to put a coating on the teeth to protect the enamel and, in turn, the teeth themselves.