Let’s face it, few people relish the idea of going to the dentist. Yet most know their twice-yearly visits are an important part of maintaining their dental and overall health. There are times, though, when you just can’t wait between those regular visits.
Here are the top six indications you should contact your dentist immediately.
You Are Experiencing Tooth Pain
Potential causes for pain run the gamut from trapped food particles to abscesses or advanced gingivitis (gum disease). It might seem obvious to mention it as a sign, but the truth is some tooth pain subsides after a day or two, leaving many people thinking it was “nothing to worry about.” But you could have a cavity, infection, or dead root. Don’t let tooth pain affect your daily activities. Whether you’re experiencing gentle throbbing or severe pain, contact your dentist immediately.
You Have Experienced Changes to Your Gums
If your gums look a bit puffier than normal, or you notice bleeding when you brush, you might have gum disease. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to tooth loss and even heart disease. The good news is most cases of gum disease can be relieved with proper oral hygiene. Regular brushing, more diligent flossing, avoiding stress, and an increase in vitamin C intake can all help prevent it.
Learn about the best practices for taking care of your teeth at home.
You are Pregnant
Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. Hormonal changes can increase the risk of developing “pregnancy gingivitis” which, in turn, could affect the health of your developing baby. Now more than ever is the time for regular exams and for paying close attention to any changes in your gums. If you experience tenderness or notice gum swelling or bleeding, talk with your dentist as soon as possible.
You Have Been Experiencing Ongoing Health Issues
Did you know that a common cause of ear pain is related to your jaw? Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) can cause symptoms of earache along with popping or clicking of your jaw. Another ongoing problem that might be dental related is snoring. If you suffer from the condition, talk to your dentist. She or he can examine your mouth’s anatomy and see if something like a low, thick soft palate, may be to blame.
You Have a Dry Mouth
Chronic dry mouth can leave you more prone to tooth breakdown. That’s because saliva is your body’s natural defense against tooth decay and gum disease. Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth might be caused by a non-dental related medical disorder or it could be a side effect to medication. Your dentist can recommend methods to restore moisture.
You Have Spots or Sores in Your Mouth
Sores that linger for more than a week or so should be looked at by your dentist. It’s one of the most common signs of oral cancer but can also indicate a viral or bacterial infection. Whatever it might be, it’s always a lot easier to treat when caught early.
Don’t take your oral health for granted! Follow good oral hygiene practices to prevent and/or reduce oral health problems. And if something doesn’t seem right with your mouth, call your dentist! Kanehl Dental can help identify and treat all types of dental issues. If you want to learn more about taking care of your oral health, contact us today.