10 SIGNS THAT YOU NEED TO SEE A DENTIST
Visiting the dentist is something we are forced to do every 6 months, yet most of us fail to do so due to our busy schedules. Just because you regularly brush and floss your teeth, it doesn’t exempt you from visiting your dentist. We should always make it a habit to go to the dentist for regular check-up and cleaning.
1. Pain and Swelling
Tooth ache is something we cannot ignore. Pain may be caused by a sharp, constant throbbing feeling. In some people, pain results only when pressure is applied on the tooth. There are many causes of tooth aches, including dental decay, an injury or an infection. Even if the pain already subsides, you should still see your dentist. Your body might have fought the infection, but the cause of it could still remain.
2. Gum Problems
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum line that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. This can be painless at first but it may progress to more serious problems. It is important to be aware and to consult your dentist if you are feeling any of the following symptoms:
- Gums that easily bleed when brushing or flossing
- Swollen or tender gums
- Persistent BAD BREATH
- Gums that recede or move away from the tooth
- Loose teeth
- Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums
3. White Spots on Teeth
White spots are ordinarily a loss of mineral content on the surface of the teeth (enamel). It is also called as hypocalcification. Besides being a cosmetic concern for many people, this problem can actually result in the deterioration of teeth. It may also indicate early stages of tooth decay, if treated soon enough, it is possible to halt the decay process before the cavity forms. Here are some major causes of white spots on teeth:
- Dry mouth – it’s when there is not enough saliva to keep your mouth’s pH level near neutral. Acid producing bacteria will thrive and attack your teeth. Certain prescription drugs, medical condition, tobacco usage, mouth breathing when sleeping.
- Acidic Foods and Drink- consuming too much acidic food and drink. Eating sour candies or drinking lots of sports drinks, carbonated soda, etc; the high acidic content can rapidly eat away your teeth’s enamel and natural minerals.
- Acid Reflux- GERD, it is when your mouth will experience higher levels of acidity than normal. This acidity can damage your teeth.
- Plaque buildup from poor oral hygiene- Plaque is formed on your teeth after eating carbohydrates. The bacteria feeds on sugar in your mouth and produces acidic waste that dissolves your enamel causing white decalcification and cavities.
- Excessive fluoride (FLUOROSIS)- Consuming excessive fluoride during teeth development. For instance, living in an area where drinking water contains high fluoride level can also cause white spots
- Wearing braces- Braces DON’T cause white spots, but poor hygiene while wearing them can.
4. Problems With Dental Work
Even given the sturdiness of fillings, crowns, implants and other dental work, with everything we chew, it’s possible to loosen the fixtures in our mouths. If any of your dental work feels loose, crooked, or in any way off, let the dentist fix the problem quickly to prevent additional issues.
5. Changes of Color or Texture in Mouth
If anything unusual has been happening in the color or texture of your mouth, from persistent white or red patches appearing to lumps forming where there were none, check with your dentist to address the problem.
6. Increased Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
Do you feel sensitivity on your teeth when you eat or drink something cold or hot? It may be time to get the bottom of this painful condition. Tooth decay could be causing this condition. When the dental decay first occurs, it affects the surface of the teeth, and as it advances it makes its way to the center of the teeth where the nerves are located. Sensitivity could also be a sign of a different problem, such as teeth grinding or a filling that needs to be fixed.
7. Persistent Bad Breath
Having bad breath can be embarrassing and can affect your self confidence. Some people don’t realize they even have bad breath. Fortunately, this problem is often easy to fix. Good oral hygiene, regular visits to the dentist and ruling out any underlying condition/factor that could make your breath less than pleasant.
8. Chronic Headache
If you are experiencing frequent headaches especially in the morning, there’s a possibility that you are grinding your teeth at night. Your dentist can provide you with a mouth guard which you wear at night to protect your teeth and alleviate your chronic headache.
9. Jaw Problems
This is also known as TEMPOROMANDIBULAR DISORDER (TMD). Difficulty in opening or closing the mouth, popping when you chew, or uneven bite, it could become more serious issue if allowed to continue.
10. Lingering Sores
Sores can be quite common for some people. But if they last for a week or longer, you need to seek dental attention immediately. Canker sores, leukoplakia, and cold sores, are some possible signs of a bigger problem, and can be traced to either a virus or infection.
Images/GIF from: Google
Article by : Dr. Maricris Perez
Gan Advanced Osseointegration Center