Very few people want to go to the dentist, so they may put off such a visit for as long as possible, even ignoring very obvious signs that it's time to make an appointment. In turn, they may suffer with needless pain or cause even more damage to their teeth and gums. In extreme cases, they may even lose a tooth! Note a few commonly overlooked signs that it's time to see a dentist and make an appointment as soon as you notice any of these yourself.

1. Spots, bumps, or other sores in the mouth

A canker sore might appear and go away after a day or two, but other spots and sores in the mouth should not be ignored. These may be oral cancer, signs of an infection, or even signs that your immune system may be suppressed in some way. If you have cuts inside your mouth, they should heal as quickly and easily as other cuts and sores, but if they remain for days and even weeks without any sign of getting better, you want to visit your dentist. This includes bumps on the tongue or the roof of the mouth.

2. Lightening of the teeth

If you look at your teeth and seem to notice that they look lighter, meaning almost see-through, you should see your dentist. This often means that the enamel or protective coating over the teeth is being eroded. This enamel protects your teeth from being chipped or broken, and your dentist may be able to add a type of coating in place of this enamel. He or she may also note why your enamel is being eroded; this may be caused by your diet or poor oral hygiene, and it is good to have these causes addressed.

3. Chronic bad breath

If you notice that you always seem to have bad breath, you may have decaying teeth that need filling or pulling, or may have infected tonsils. This infection can cause a foul odor in the mouth. In some cases you may also have damage to your teeth from acid reflux disease or another health condition that should be addressed. You might also be suffering from dry mouth, so that saliva doesn't wash away that bacteria. This in turn can cause tooth decay. When your bad breath seems very severe or just never goes away, schedule an exam with your dentist.