Don’t Ignore These Dental Warning Signs
At Comfort Care Family Dental, we do our utmost to make your experience as anxiety-free and generally pleasant as possible. Still, we’re well aware that many people are afraid or otherwise reluctant to go to the dentist. If we hadn’t figured this out from own experience, a recent poll would alert us that it’s so. The poll found that 58% of Americans say they go to the dentist at least once a year. Even discounting the fact that once a year is really not often enough, that means that 42% of us don’t go even that frequently.
But we all need to go. Regular cleanings prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar. Regular checkups catch dental illness and gum disease early, when they’re easier and less expensive to treat, and before they bring on severe consequences like an unsightly, malodorous mouth, pain, and tooth loos. Left untreated, periodontal disease and bad teeth can even make you sick in other parts of the body and ruin your overall health.
Here, then, are a number of dental warning signs that you should come in, and sooner rather than later.
Dental Warnings Signs #1: It’s Time
If your mouth looks and feels fine, you might question that this is one of the valid dental warning signs. But as mentioned above, regular cleanings and checkups are essential to keeping it that way.
If your dentist hasn’t detected any problems or potential problems, he or she probably recommends you come in every six months. If there does seem to be a possibility of problems, more frequent visits may be indicated. Whatever the recommendation is, go with it. There’s a valid reason for it.
Dental Warning Signs #2: Discolored Teeth
A notably discolored tooth is generally that way for a reason, possibly because it’s injured or infected. It might need a root canal or even to be pulled.
Dental Warning Signs #3: A Chronic Bad Taste in the Mouth
A chronic bad taste in your mouth can be a sign of an abscess. Pus has formed, and you’re tasting it as it seeps into your mouth. Quick intervention is needed so the infection won’t fester and spread.
Dental Warning Signs #4: Chronic Bad Breath
If you’ve just eaten a raw onion, your breath is likely to reflect that for a while. But chronic bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis, may well be an early sign of infection.
Dental Warning Signs #5: A Bump or Roughness in the Mouth, Cheek, or Tongue
This is one of the more serious dental warning signs in that it could indicate the presence of HPV or oral cancer. This can be so even if you’re not a smoker and the irregularity isn’t painful, so have your dentist evaluate it as soon as possible.
Dental Warning Signs #6: Bleeding Gums
If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, it could be because you have periodontal disease. This is something else to have checked out as soon as possible, partly because the plaque that irritates your mouth is the same plaque that can clog an artery.
Dental Warning Signs #7: Pain in the Teeth, Mouth, and/or Jaw
Among the dental warning signs, this one seems fairly obvious. Yet not everyone understands that even mild pain can signal the presence of dental ailments like a cavity, broken tooth, or receding gums.
Dental Warning Signs #8: Pain in the Jaw
Many dental problems can produce pain in the jaw. Impacted wisdom teeth may be the culprits, or the patient may even be suffering from cancer. A dental X-ray is generally part of the process to determine the root of the problem.
Dental Warning Signs #9: Sensitivity to Hot, Cold, or Sugary Food
Simple sensitivity can result from the presence of a cavity but can also be a symptom of gum recession and root exposure. Depending on the cause, the remedy can be a simple change of toothpaste or something considerably more involved, for instance, gum graft surgery.
Dental Warning Signs #10: Your Teeth Look Shorter
They may look shorter because they are. This could be because you’re grinding your teeth. It’s entirely possible to do this without being aware of it. Some people do it in their sleep. It’s a habit that can lead to a breakdown in your tooth enamel, cavities, exposed nerves, and other problems. A custom-fitted night guard can help solve the problem if you are in fact grinding your teeth in your sleep.
Dental Warning Signs #11: Headaches
If you’re experiencing frequent headaches, the problem may again be nocturnal teeth grinding even if the pain doesn’t seem to be arising in the mouth. You can put so much force on your masseter and temporalis muscles that they get sore. Once again, a custom-fitted night guard may be the answer to the problem.
By all means, contact your dentist’s office for an appointment if you’re experiencing any of these dental warning signs.