Haven’t been to the dentist in years? There are a few ways to tell if it’s time to book an appointment. Here are 7 of the most urgent signs you should consider visiting a dental professional:
1. Chronic Tooth Pain
If you are experiencing chronic tooth pain, you should head straight to the dentist. It could be something as simple as tooth sensitivity, where a simple change in your daily routine could cure your pain. Or, if you have a sensitivity to hot or cold foods and liquids, it may be a decay of a certain tooth, a loose filling, or an exposed root surface. Another cause of tooth pain could be a more serious issue of periodontal disease or other medical conditions. Don’t wait for the pain to get worse; make an appointment to visit your dentist immediately.
2. Jaw Pain
Jaw pain can be uncomfortable, oftentimes a throbbing pain that can have a severe effect on your quality of life. If you are experiencing pain in your jaw, it could be something as simple as stress or muscle tension, but it may also be indicative of a deeper issue. Jaw pain can often result from grinding your teeth (bruxism) and misalignment of the jaw joint. Some serious conditions that might cause jaw pain include temporomandibular disorder (TMD), infections, arthritis and even certain cancers, so it’s important to get checked out by a professional.
3. Swollen, Inflamed, or Bleeding Gums
Swollen gums are a common problem and can have a number of different causes. Inflamed gums are typically caused by hardened plaque that has accumulated under your gum line. This typically is a cause of improper dental hygiene, where a bacterium in the mouth forms plaque on the teeth. Inflamed or bleeding gums can often be a sign of gingivitis, periodontitis, or gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss if not treated early enough. If you are experiencing swollen, inflamed, or bleeding gums for longer than a week, you should visit your dentist for a proper diagnosis.
4. Chronic Bad Breath
Bad breath can be embarrassing for anyone. There is a difference between the occasional bad breath caused by too many pieces of garlic bread and the chronic variety that could be a more serious issue. Chronic bad breath could be caused by tooth decay, bacteria hiding in cavities or pockets in the gums, and conditions such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. Some viruses, illnesses or infections may also cause this chronic bad breath. Even certain medications lead to bad breath. If bad breath lasts more than a week, you’ll need to visit a dentist, as gum and mouthwash will only mask the problem temporarily!
5. Tartar Build up
Tartar, also known as dental calculus, is the hardened form of plaque that can damage your teeth and create further oral issues. It accumulates on the surface of the teeth, along with bacteria and other debris. If this tartar build-up is not removed by a dentist or hygienist, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. You may notice discoloration of your teeth or even gaps between them due to tartar build-up. Make sure to schedule a professional cleaning every 6 months in order to avoid any dental problems caused by tartar build-up.
6. Worn or Chipped Teeth
Have you noticed that your teeth are not looking as healthy and strong as they used to? Wearing down of the enamel, chipping of teeth, discoloration and even cracking can occur over time due to age, genetics, and lifestyle factors. The sooner you get professional treatment, the more likely you will be able to get the issue resolved. A professional dentist can evaluate the condition of your teeth and provide advice on how to best protect them moving forward.
7. Mouth Sores or Lesions
Do you have small sores in your mouth that don’t seem to go away? It’s possible these are harmless lumps or bumps caused by irritation from foods such as citrus fruits or nuts, but it’s always best to have a qualified dentist take a look at them. In some cases, these sores may be a sign of a more serious medical condition such as oral cancer.
No matter what symptoms you are experiencing, if they persist for longer than a week it’s always important to visit your dentist for an evaluation. Your dental health is essential to maintaining your overall health and well-being, so never hesitate to reach out for help when it comes to the care of your teeth. A qualified dentist can help you with any dental issues that may arise, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment if needed. The sooner you receive professional treatment, the better off your smile will be! Remember that prevention is always key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Brush twice a day, floss regularly, and visit your dentist at least once a year for regular check-ups. Taking care of your oral health now will pay off later!
At Salling and Tate Family Dentistry, our team of experienced dentists is dedicated to providing quality dental care for patients of all ages. We take pride in performing comprehensive evaluations and helping to educate our patients on the importance of healthy teeth and gums. Our ultimate goal is to provide exceptional service that will keep you smiling for years to come! Contact us today by calling 910-256-9040 to schedule your next appointment!