Nobody wants to do it. But there are good reasons to go to the dentist – promise.

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We all know going to the dentist is a pain, sometimes literally. But your teeth are pretty precious –just think how much you use them every day. Giving them a bit of loving care with regular check-ups is a small price to keep them healthy and strong for years to come.

Here are just a handful of signs it’s time to see the dentist.

Bleeding gums

Bleeding gums are often caused from brushing or flossing too vigorously. It’s not a major concern unless you’re experience ongoing tenderness which can be a sign of something more serious. When plaque is not removed it can infect our gums which leads to swelling and soreness. These are the early signs of gingivitis or gum disease.

Mouth sores

Superficial mouth sores such as ulcers will go away on their own, however, some could be signs of a fungal or viral infection. If you find whitish coloured sores on the inside of your cheeks, or on the gums or tongue, this could be leukoplakia, a disease that can increase the risk of cancer.

Jaw pain

Jaw pain is frequently brought on by teeth grinding, something most of us do in our sleep without realising. Dentists can help prevent teeth grinding with custom-made mouth guards. Other causes include tooth aches, sinus problems or an incorrect temporomandibular joint (the hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull). If you’re experiencing jaw pain, see your dentist for a professional opinion.

Tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is most often noticed when sipping hot or cold drinks and can be caused from things like brushing too hard, using tooth-whitening toothpastes or harsh mouthwashes. More serious reasons include receding gums, enamel erosion, tooth decay or a leaky filling. If sensitivity persists, consult your dentist for the best solution.

Bad breath

Momentary bad breath or halitosis is nothing to be alarmed by, it’s usually brought on from food residue, hunger, or tobacco products. However if it’s continuous, it could mean something more sinister. If you’re concerned, see your dentist for an exact diagnosis.

Tooth ache

Any feeling of a tooth ache requires a visit to the dentist. Tooth aches can occur from infections, gum disease, teeth grinding or an abnormal bite. They don’t naturally heal themselves and if left too long can result in a lot of pain and a dead tooth. See your dentist before it worsens!

Stained teeth

Whether it’s after red wine, smoking, or tea, we can all get stained teeth from time to time. But if the little brown marks don’t disappear after a brush, it’s usually time for a professional clean!

With regular dental check-ups and cleans, you’ll avoid paying more in the long run and avoid the risk of oral health issues. All Medibank members with extras cover for two months or more get 100% back on up to two dental check-ups every year, including x-rays, at any Members’ Choice Advantage dentist.^ Find out more about how you can benefit from dental cover.

^Limited to two dental check-ups on all extras annually. Maximum two bitewing x-rays per check-up where clinically needed. Not available in all areas.

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