Top 10 Signs and Symptoms of Dental Trouble
What are the Top 10 Dental Symptoms to Look For?
Unless you're part of the minority, you probably don't look forward to visiting the dentist.
A study discovered about 75% of adults have some form of fear associated with going to the dentist.
Even if you're part of the 25% that's unphased by your dentist appointments, it's probably not something that is highly anticipated.
Regular yearly checkups aren't fun, not to mention the additional appointments that we schedule when something doesn't feel quite right with our mouths.
Dental problems aren't fun, but luckily they are fairly preventable.
The Three Best Dental Practices to keep the dentist at bay include:
- Brushing at least twice a day
- Flossing daily
- Avoiding foods that are bad for teeth
However, sometimes no matter how hard we try, we find ourselves in the waiting room of the dentist office hoping for the best.
There are a few tell-tale signs and symptoms of dental problems that we should all look out for.
In terms of prevention, being educated about common dental problems and their causes goes a long way.
Let's talk about 10 of those signs and symptoms below.
1. Stained Teeth
Over time it's possible for your teeth to become stained and change color.
This is typically caused by the following:
- Eating certain foods
- Drinking tea or coffee
- Certain medications.
That's a lot of possibilities!
The first thing you should do if you notice your teeth changing color is to see your dentist. They are professionals and will be able to rule out any underlying issues.
After you've spoken to your dentist, there are also many whitening options, available including over the counter treatments or in-office procedures.
Your dentist will recommend what is best for you.
2. Broken Teeth
There are many ways for you to get a cracked or broken tooth.
Your teeth could just be naturally brittle, grinding your teeth can cause them to break, or you could suffer an injury.
Sometimes the breaks are invisible to the naked eye and even x-ray, but they can be incredibly painful and create even more significant problems if they aren't treated.
If you experience any pain, especially when chewing, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible.
Your dentist can diagnose the issue and see if it is a broken tooth, and then they'll develop a treatment plan.
3. Oral Piercings
Sometimes that tongue ring can cause more problems than it's worth.
Oral piercings can create a wide range of issues for your health, oral and otherwise.
Your mouth is home to enormous amounts of bacteria, making it an ideal place for an infection to develop.
See your dentist as soon as possible if you develop any signs of infection, such as:
- A red-streaked appearance around your piercing
An infection in your mouth can be disastrous, and you need to get it treated as soon as possible.
4. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can be a symptom of a dental issue as well as a medical disorder, or a side effect of certain medications.
Saliva is your mouths primary defense against tooth decay.
Your saliva washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth, and spreads disease-fighting substances through your mouth.
Visit your dentist to rule out any underlying issues or side effects, and they can also recommend ways to restore your saliva.
5. Jaw Pain/Popping/Clicking
These symptoms are particularly hard to diagnose because they can be caused by several things.
Possible causes include:
- Sinus Infections
- Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
If you have any of these symptoms, your dentist will need to conduct a thorough exam including x-rays to determine the source of your issue.
6. Bad Breath
Perhaps the most embarrassing symptom of them all is bad breath.
Bad breath is generally associated with poor hygiene, but sometimes it goes deeper than that.
Bad breath can be caused by improper oral hygiene, but it can also be a symptom of what you eat, dry mouth, smoking, or several other medical conditions.
Chronic bad breath is also a warning sign of gum disease.
Brushing twice a day and flossing every day are key in reducing bad breath and avoiding gum disease.
Don't forget to brush your tongue either - it is home to countless bacteria.
If you can't seem to knock your bad breath, see your dentist. They can determine the cause and work out a treatment plan.
7. Mouth Sores
The various types of mouth sores include canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia, and candidiasis.
They will vary in severity as well as the cause.
Mouth sores are typically the sign of a disease or disorder, ranging from anything from bacteria to viruses, or fungus.
They can also be caused by irritation from braces, dentures, or the sharp edge of a broken tooth or filling.
If your mouth sore has lasted longer than a week, you should have your dentist check it out.
8. Sore/Bleeding Gums
Bleeding or sore gums is usually a sore sign of gingivitis.
It could also be an early, but still reversible sign of gum disease or you could just be brushing too hard or starting a new flossing routine.
If your gums bleed regularly with no sign of stopping, and it's enough to worry you, go ahead and schedule an appointment with your dentist.
It could be a sign that something else is going on.
9. Sensitive Teeth
If the thought of biting into an ice cream cone sends chills down your spine, you probably have sensitive teeth.
If it hurts when you drink something cold or something hot, you might have sensitive teeth.
This can be because of any of the following:
- Tooth decay
- Fractured teeth
- Worn out fillings
- Gum disease
- An exposed tooth root due to gum recession
The treatment your dentist recommends will depend on the source of the sensitivity.
If the sensitivity of your teeth is starting to cause problems, schedule an appointment with your dentist so they can check it out.
If you have pain in your mouth or your jaw, it could be due to a toothache.
Toothaches are usually a sign of a cavity, but they can also be a signal for gum disease.
In some cases, they can even be a sign of an abscess or impacted tooth.
If you have a toothache, it should be evaluated right away to determine the cause and to ensure that the tooth doesn't die.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
The best way to avoid trips to the dentist is to make oral hygiene a priority.
You should see the dentist at least once a year for a routine check-up and cleaning, but aside from that, we are in control of how many times we need to see the dentist.
If you do have one of the Dental Symptoms above, the last thing you should do is put off seeing the dentist.
The sooner your dentist can evaluate and diagnose your symptom, the sooner they can treat it.
Waiting too long can lead to bigger problems, which leads to more visits to the dentist.
If you're currently looking for a dentist, the experts at Hylan Dental Care can help.
They have years of experience and expertise diagnosing the dental symptoms above, and they'll get you fixed up quicker than you can say root canal!
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