Teeth are a wonderful thing- they help people eat and also convey all kinds of emotions. It’s also one of the first things that others notice when meeting someone for the first time. It’s important to take care of them… and to also be aware of things that can go wrong with them.
Here are some common signs of tooth problems that one should look out for in order to prevent any possible dental emergencies:
- Abscess or Toothache – There can be quite a few reasons for this to occur. It could be from tooth decay like cavities, but it can also result from gum disease. If there’s a fever, then chances are good that it’s an abscess… and antibiotics may be required.
- Bad Breath – This goes beyond the breath that one has when they wake up in the morning. It can be caused by a variety of things, including not enough saliva production or infection or even possibly cancer. If it persists with regular brushing and flossing, a dental visit is needed.
- Bleeding or Sore Gums – Spotting blood on one’s toothbrush or in the sink after rinsing can make one worried. It can be caused by easily correctable things like brushing too hard or not flossing often enough. Ignoring it can lead to gum disease or worse – possible infection and tooth loss.
- Cracked Teeth – Fillings can also be the culprit behind cracked teeth since they may have already been slightly weakened by the drilling. Doing things like biting on hard food like jawbreakers or ice cubes can increase one’s risk of having a cracked tooth. Depending on how deep the crack is, either a root canal or even a tooth extraction may be the solution.
- Discolored Teeth – Stained teeth can occur for a variety of reasons. As one ages, the dentin in one’s teeth goes away which means darker teeth. Also, if one has a lot of coffee or tea, that can also make one’s teeth yellow. There are plenty of whitening solutions both over-the-counter and available at the dentist’s office.
- Dry Mouth – There are a variety of things that can cause this: types of medication and certain illnesses. It’s important for the mouth to have adequate saliva since that is what helps stop tooth decay. This opens the door for plaque buildup and infection.
- Jaw Pain or Cracking – It can be had to pinpoint the actual cause here – anything from arthritis to TMJ can be the culprit. Your dental professional may have to winnow things down with X-rays and other tests.
- Mouth Sores – Sores can be caused by anything from too much of a certain food to illness to irritation from braces. One should only worry if the sore lasts longer than a week.
- Sensitive Teeth – If one’s teeth hurt after drinking a hot or cold beverage, it could be sensitive teeth. Everything from cracked teeth to receding gums could cause this.
First, the dentist will see what is causing the issue and whether it can be easily fixed or not in one visit. More extensive work may be needed. It also depends on how much the issue has advanced since it first cropped up. Some people may avoid the dentist for a while, hoping that everything resolved on its own – which won’t happen since once gum disease goes beyond gingivitis, there’s no stopping it.
The main defense against any of these problems is proper brushing and flossing. That means spending two minutes at a time brushing all four quadrants of one’s mouth with either a manual or electric toothbrush and then flossing and rinsing with mouthwash. Monitoring snacks and what food one eats is also important.
Dr. Shaista Najmi and her staff at Ivory Dental have helped many patients over the years with all kinds of dental issues. They will also gladly help them learn how to prevent problems down the road.