While most people associate dentists with teeth cleanings and fillings, their jobs entail much more than that. There are certain signs to look out for that indicate one may need to see the dentist. Ignoring these telltale signs can be costly to patients in the long run.
Pain and Swelling
Patients who are experiencing constant pain or swelling in their teeth or gums should consider it an indication that something is wrong. It is recommended that such individuals get checked out for infections or gum disease. Constant pain is not normal.
White Spots Developing on the Teeth
These white spots are usually an early indication of tooth decay and, when caught early on, it is possible to prevent this decay from developing and becoming a bigger issue.
Issues With Previous Dental Work
While fillings, crowns, and implants are generally sturdy and durable, they are susceptible to damage over time. This is especially true for patients who tend to eat harder substances, such as candy. Patients should inform their dentist right away if they find that their dental work feels loose or off in any way.
The gums require just as much attention as the teeth. Patients should reach out to their dentist right away if their gums:
- Become puffy or inflamed
- Appear swollen
- Change in color from the normal pink tone to blue or red
- Have any puss or odor
- Are showing signs of recession
Dentists can check for gum disease and plaque development during a regular checkup.
Color or Texture Changes in the Mouth
Unusual changes in color or texture in the mouth, such as white or red patches forming or the development of new lumps, patients should check in with their dentists to make sure that it isn’t a sign of a bigger problem.
Chronic Bad Breath
A thorough dental hygiene routine (brushing and flossing) should be enough to keep one’s breath smelling fresh. In cases where bad breath persists despite good dental care, there may be a deeper problem. Patients should reach out to their dentist right away.
Problems With Chewing or Swallowing
Patients who are experiencing this should know that it is not normal. One should avoid solid foods until they can see a dentist.
Issues With the Jaw
Patients who experience popping or pain while chewing or when closing the jaw should know that it is a serious issue. Having an uneven bite can also be a cause for concern. An experienced dentist will be able to help the patient solve these issues or refer them to an orthodontist who can.
Increased Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
Developing sensitivity to hot or cold foods can be a sign of decay moving through the enamel to the center of the tooth. When these sensations manifest, detecting and treating the cavity early on is the best course of action. That said, tooth sensitivity can also be a symptom of teeth grinding or a loose filling.
Mouth sores can be caused by anything from accidentally biting one’s cheek or eating a particular fruit. While they are normally harmless, sores that last for a week or longer should be checked out.
What Is the Takeaway?
Unfortunately, oral health is often regarded as less important than one’s overall health. As a result, dental issues have become more and more prevalent, resulting in much higher dental fees than one would otherwise have to pay. Looking out for the telltale signs of dental issues can help nip these problems in the bud before they get to that point. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!