It's typically recommended that adults visit their family dentist every year, for a thorough examination and x-rays, and for a professional cleaning of their teeth. It may be recommended that some patients visit their dentist more often, if they have special risks to their oral health; this might include smokers, those with a history of oral cancer, and so on. Whatever the condition of your mouth, however, you might note when it's time to visit a dental clinic versus waiting for your next dental appointment, so you can get certain urgent issues treated, or at least examined as soon as possible.

Your teeth feel out of alignment

If it seems as if your teeth are suddenly out of alignment, you may not be imagining things! The shape of the jaw can change with age, taking the teeth with it as it moves and shifts. You might also be suffering bone loss due to illness or aging, causing the teeth to move, or you may have damaged the jawbone in some way, so that the teeth have shifted and moved out of position.

Whatever the case, misaligned teeth can cause erosion of tooth enamel, if those teeth are now rubbing up against each other. Teeth can also wear each other down when misaligned. You also want to have any reasons for damage to the jaw or any cause of bone loss diagnosed, to avoid even more damage. For all these reasons, don't put off getting treatment if you notice your teeth don't feel as aligned as they once were, but visit a dental clinic as soon as possible.

Teeth feel dirty

Your teeth may gradually yellow with age, or become discoloured because of what you eat and drink, but this doesn't necessarily mean they're dirty. However, if you run your tongue over your teeth and notice that they have a dull or even crusty feeling, this might mean that your teeth have plaque build-up and tartar. This is usually caused by a lack of proper oral hygiene, which then allows food particles, bacteria, and other debris to settle onto the teeth, where they then harden.

Allowing this plaque and tartar to build up on the teeth can lead to eventual gum disease and even tooth loss, and it becomes harder to clean the teeth properly the longer you put off a professional cleaning. Make an appointment with a dental clinic if you notice this about your teeth, to have them cleaned as needed and avoid future risks to your overall oral health.