7 signs that you need to see a dentist
Everyone takes good care of their body, but many forget an essential part of the human system – the teeth and gums. We brush once or twice a day and feel that it is enough to keep our mouths clean. In fact, your teeth and gums need extra care as compared to the rest of your body because we use our mouths for a number of things, including eating, drinking and talking.
Apart from taking care of your teeth and gums at home, it is important to visit a dentist on a regular basis for a general check-up and if oral problems persist. We share with you 7 signs that indicate that you need to see a dentist immediately, without any delay.
If you experience bleeding of gums when you brush or floss, you should immediately go to your family dentist. You should not ignore this as it could be the first sign of gum disease. If it is left untreated, it can result in damaged tissues and weak teeth. Other possibteethle disease advancements include loss of teeth, pain in the mouth and bad breath.
Although swelling of gums is less severe than bleeding of gums, it is not something to be ignored. Redness of gums could be an indication of gingivitis, a dental infection or other dental or gum diseases. In an attempt to keep your teeth clean, you could have brushed your teeth vigorously, damaging the delicate tissues of your gums. Brushing with a toothbrush with hard bristles can damage the enamel on your teeth and cause red and swollen gums.
As you get older, you start experiencing dry mouth. In addition, if you are taking medicines, dry mouth could be a side effect of the prescription. Dry mouth can be a result of diseases that compromise the body’s immune system. If you experience persistent, unexplained dry mouth, it is time to visit your family dentist. If you fail to consult your dentist quickly, your condition may aggravate and it could lead to gum and tooth decay.
If you are experiencing pain in your jaw, it could be because of inflammation or degeneration of the joint. Usually, pain in your jaw spreads near your ear and you will experience a clicking and popping sensation when your jaw opens and closes. Although the clicking and popping may not be painful, you should visit a dentist soon to prevent your oral condition from becoming worse.
Your dentist may fit you with a mouth guard or give you anti-inflammatory medications. This is not considered an emergency and does not require urgent treatment. In cases of unbearable pain in the jaw, advance treatment may be required. Jaw pain is associated with coronary artery disease and heart attack, which typically occurs in the chest but can radiate to the jaw.
In cases of burning mouth or burning tongue syndrome, there is a constant burning pain which is felt inside the mouth or the tongue. Other symptoms include a dry mouth and a salty taste on your taste buds. Burning mouth syndrome is a chronic problem and lasts for a very long time, but in some cases, the pain can also become less severe.
It is unclear as to what exactly causes the burning mouth syndrome. The most plausible explanation is that it is the result of a problem concerning the small nerve fibers, located inside the mouth. In this case, the condition is known as the ‘small fiber neuropathy’. Burning mouth syndrome is the result of vitamin B12 deficiency, like the Sjögren Syndrome.
There are two kinds of canker sores which appear in your mouth. Canker sores are small, shallow ulcers that appear in the mouth and make chewing and eating uncomfortable. The two types of canker sores are simple canker sores and complex canker sores. Simple canker sores generally appear three to four times a year and last up to a week. They typically occur in people between the ages of 10 and 20. Complex canker sores, on the other hand, are less common and occur more often in those who have had them before.
Canker sores generally heal within a few days and they are only minor discomforts. However, if you experience a canker sore that is taking a long time to heal, and if you have a high fever and persistent pain as a result, a canker sore can indicate a more serious problem that should be assessed by a dentist.
Fractured and broken tooth
Even though your teeth may appear to be very strong, they can break, fracture and chip. This usually occurs when you get hit in your mouth, fall down, eat something hard that chips or breaks your tooth, and weakening of your teeth because of cavities. A tooth does not always hurt when it breaks, and may even go unnoticed for awhile. This usually depends on the size of the broken tooth and its location. If the underlying tooth surface, the dentine, is injured, and the tooth is exposed to saliva, air, cold and hot beverages and food, pain can occur. This pain can be intermittent or constant.
If your tooth breaks or cracks, you must visit a dentist to repair it. You cannot fix it yourself. There are situations when a tooth hurts from time to time, and in other occasions, it may hurt constantly. Constant tooth pain could be because of damaged nerve or blood vessels and requires immediate attention. You should save the pieces of your tooth and bring them with you when you visit the dentist. Use warm water to rinse your mouth and place gauze on the area to prevent it from bleeding. If the pain is unbearable, take a painkiller to reduce the pain.
If you are suffering from any of the abovementioned oral problems, you need to consult your family dentist immediately. Do not delay the visit to your dentist as it may result in more complicated oral problems.