You should go to the dentist when you have any concerns over something that has to do with your mouth or your teeth. Even if you see the dentist regularly, things can happen in the meantime that require an extra visit. Here are some things that can come up and would be cause to go in for an extra visit.
You took a hit to the mouth
When you play contact sports, you should wear a properly fitted mouthguard. However, there are still many ways in which you can take some type of hit to your mouth. You may have been punched, you may have fallen and hit your mouth on something, or you may have been in an accident.
No matter what happened, it is a good idea to go to the dentist after taking a hit to your mouth because there may be damage, even if you don't see it or feel it. You may have a tooth that's slightly loose, you may have one or more teeth that now have fractures in them and are at risk of breaking completely, or you may have other tooth damage the dentist will want to treat. Proper treatment can prevent you from ending up with serious dental issues down the line.
You have bad breath
If you have started to notice people not wanting you too close to them when you talk or if someone flat-out tells you that you have bad breath more than once, then you should get in to see your dentist to find out what's going on. There are a number of things that can cause bad breath and some of them can be treated by the dentist.
For one thing, a cavity can cause bad breath and so can an abscessed tooth. Another thing that can cause it is gum disease, and if you have the beginning symptoms of gum disease, then it will be a very good thing that you went to the dentist because gum disease can get worse and become a serious problem. There are other things that can cause bad breath, such as some health conditions or certain medications. However, the best place to start when you don't know what's going on will be a visit with the dentist.
There are so many other reasons for seeing a dentist before your annual dental exam. The main thing that you want to keep in mind is that it's best to get in for an appointment anytime you have some concerns over your teeth.