5 Signs You Need to Make a Dental Appointment

The sign in our office is true: “Those teeth aren’t going to brush themselves.”  Your teeth need you to brush and floss daily, and they need you to get regular check-ups with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos.  However, 100 million Americans fail to see a dentist each year. Whether it’s a busy schedule, dental anxiety, or lack of insurance, professional oral health care should not be avoided.  Seeing a dentist regularly is a great way to support your oral health and can help prevent small issues from becoming big dental problems. By catching problems early on, you can save yourself time, money, and pain.  Here are five signs it’s time to make an appointment with us:

You have pain.

A toothache is the classic reason to come to our office and should not be ignored.  There are many possible causes for a toothache such as a cavity or broken tooth. Either way, a toothache should be evaluated by Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos right away to determine the cause and prevent the tooth from dying.  Jaw pain can also be a sign of a dental issue such as bruxism or teeth grinding.  Whatever pain you’re experiencing in your mouth, Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos can diagnose and address the issue, as well as help you avoid future issues.  

You try to hide your smile.

What if you could have the smile of your dreams in just one or two dental visits?  If you’re self-conscious about your smile, it can affect your confidence and prevent you from living your life to the fullest.  Whether you’re missing a tooth or wish your teeth were whiter, many dental issues can be corrected through cosmetic dentistry. Building a relationship with us so we can understand your goals and needs is a great way to not just take care of your health, but also to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.

You notice blood when you brush or floss.

There are several reasons for bleeding gums, one of them being gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease.  If your gums bleed easily, it’s time to talk with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos. Gingivitis is reversible and preventable and we can help you get on the right path to better oral health.  Bleeding and swollen gums could also be a sign that something else is wrong, another important reason to involve us in your health care.

You’re pregnant.

Coming in for a check-up should be on every mom-to-be’s checklist.  As we’ve said before, oral health is directly related to overall health, and regular dental check-ups and a good oral health routine will help keep you and baby healthy.  Pregnancy hormones can also cause changes in your mouth. For example, many women develop pregnancy gingivitis, or swollen gums, which can be helped with extra dental cleanings.  Some women also develop overgrowths in their mouth called “pregnancy tumors,” which can be uncomfortable. Mostly, these growths go away on their own, but if you have discomfort or concerns, come in and see us.

It’s time for a check-up.

If it’s been over 6 months since you last visited, then it’s time to come in for a cleaning and exam.  Even if you don’t have any symptoms, regular dental check-ups can help prevent problems from developing and treat symptoms (like those in the list above) before they advance.  Regular visits to our office are just as important as brushing and flossing your teeth daily. Plus, we always love to see you!

It you’re experiencing symptoms or if it’s time for your next appointment, give us a call at 207.781.5900.  Our team of knowledgeable and compassionate professionals are here to make your dental care as effective and comfortable as possible.

Hormones and Women’s Oral Health

Hormones, the tiny chemical messengers that tell our bodies what, how, and when to do something, can have a huge impact on women’s oral health, especially during periods of change. Puberty, pregnancy, and menopause all come with mild to massive hormonal changes in the body. These changes have been discovered to be linked to specific oral maladies. During these life stages, it is important for women to know what signs to look for that indicate oral illness.

During puberty, a woman’s body begins producing larger quantities of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. It is theorized that these hormones cause the microenvironment of your mouth to change into one more accommodating for the harmful bacteria that lead to gingivitis. These bacteria take up residence in the pubescent mouth in huge numbers. Signs of gingivitis to watch out for include bleeding or inflamed gums.

In addition to gingivitis, pregnant women have another complication to deal with. The saliva of a pregnant woman can change in two ways. Frequently, pregnant women’s saliva loses its anti-microbial efficacy due to a change in the chemical cocktail within the saliva, leading to a build up of harmful bacteria. Dry mouth is another common problem in which saliva production is reduced. Saliva helps fight cavities, so a persistent dry mouth could lead to unwanted problems. Sipping water frequently helps.

Women going through menopause are more susceptible to gingivitis, dry mouth, and several other oral health issues. One frequent condition, called Burning Mouth Syndrome, has symptoms of burning sensations that are felt in different parts of the mouth. Osteoporosis during menopause could lead to bone loss in teeth and the jaw bone. Signs of oral osteoporosis are loose teeth and dentures that do not fit properly.


If you or other women close to you are going through any of these life changes and are experiencing oral discomfort, please call or have them call us right away to schedule an appointment.

women’s oral health