Taking good care of your oral health starts with attention to the daily details. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash to reduce bacteria all help keep the environment in your mouth healthy. Having professional dental cleanings every six months is also vital to sound oral health. But what if you are having symptoms in between visits? You should see your dentist if you experience any of the following:
Gums that are chronically inflamed or infected are signs of gingivitis, or gum disease. Left untreated, gingivitis is the major cause of tooth loss in adults.
If you are persistently experiencing bad breath no matter how much you clean your mouth, or notice a metallic taste in the mouth, you may have the early stages of gum disease.
If you feel brief, sharp pain whenever you ingest something hot or cold, you may have a cavity or even gum recession, which allows the sensitive layer of dentin (and the tubules leading to the nerves) under the tooth enamel to be exposed. This pain normally arises during temperature extremes.
Oral bacteria cause plaque, and plaque which mineralizes is hardened tartar. Tartar develops along the gum line, where the teeth meet the gums, and requires removal by your dental team using scaling tools.
Waking up with chronic headaches is a sign that you might be grinding your teeth in your sleep. Also called bruxism, this unintentional habit can wear down tooth enamel if left unchecked over time. Wearing a night guard (a mouth guard worn at night) can not only prevent these headaches, but will protect your teeth against further erosion or cracks.
These oral ulcers can be triggered by trauma to the mouth, emotional stress or even illness. These mouth sores, or “canker” sores, usually heal on their own, but if they persist or are unusually large, this may indicate something more serious.
If you can see white spots on a tooth, this may be an indication of dental decay. It is not uncommon to have a cavity even if you aren’t feeling pain or showing any symptoms (pain upon biting, visible holes, etc.).
If you are experiencing sudden tooth pain that just won’t go away, you may have a cavity. This is a hole in your tooth that may reach the tooth pulp where the nerves are exposed, causing pain.
Dr. Joel Nathanson and Dr. Leah Romay are both happy to help keep you smiling in between cleanings and exams. To restore your healthy smile, you can schedule a visit with our Nathanson Dental team in Hunt Valley, Maryland by calling (443) 275-9641 today!