7 Signs You Need to Call Your Dentist
Brushing twice a day and flossing after meals is standard practice for most and necessary for good dental hygiene, but regular dental visits are also a must. Unfortunately, due to hectic family life, busy work schedules, and a host of other reasons, most adults put off visiting the dentist until serious problems arise.
When put off for too long, simple problems can escalate in no time at all and lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and the need for dentures, crowns, dental implants, or an emergency root canal. If you think it’s been too long since your last trip to the dentist, it’s probably time to schedule an appointment. Chances are you may have also noticed one or more signs of poor oral health.
Here are 7 signs it’s time to call your family dentist now, not months down the road:
- Tooth Pain
Tooth pain is hard to ignore, and when it occurs, you’ll do just about anything to make it go away. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, there’s obviously something wrong, and it may be serious. Even if the pain goes away in a day or two and your body fights off the infection, the root of the problem will still remain, triggering the need for an emergency root canal or another serious procedure.
- White Spots on Teeth
Notice a white spot on one of your teeth? Unfortunately, this is a sign of tooth decay. Tooth decay is an infection that occurs when acid from bacteria begins to dissolve the enamel. Often, tooth decay occurs without any symptoms, which is a major reason to make regular dental visits.
- Inflamed Gums
Inflamed gums are caused by plaque that has hardened and accumulated beneath your gum line. In many cases, inflamed gums are a sign of gingivitis. However, they can also be a sign of periodontitis as well, which is a more serious condition that often leads to tooth decay and loss if left untreated.
If you’re suffering from inflamed or swollen gums, you need to visit your family dentist sooner rather than later to avoid future crowns, dentures, or dental implants.
- Sensitivity to Cold and Heat
Much like tooth pain, increased sensitivity to cold and heat is another sign of tooth decay. When tooth decay begins, it only affects your enamel layer and the surface of your teeth. If untreated, the condition advances and results in a cavity, which affects the blood vessels and nerves at the center of your tooth, causing pain when exposed to cold and hot temperatures. If your teeth are suffering from sensitivity to cold and heat, you need to visit your local dental office to have the cavity filled. The sooner you’re able to treat the cavity and get it filled, the lower the likelihood of it developing into a more serious problem.
- Canker Sores
For some people, canker sores are a common occurrence. If a canker sore goes away within a day or two, there’s little cause for concern.
However, if you have a canker sore that won’t heal as it should, you need to seek immediate dental care, especially if you’re experiencing persistent pain or a high fever as well.
- Bad Breath
Bad breath is an early sign of gingivitis, which if left untreated, can turn into periodontitis and cause tooth loss as well as several serious health concerns. If you brush regularly and have bad breath that simply won’t go away, you may be suffering from gingivitis. An immediate visit to your local dental office is a must in order to treat the condition before it turns into severe periodontitis and advances beyond repair.
- Metallic Taste
Do you have a metallic taste in your mouth that won’t go away? This is another common sign of gingivitis and periodontitis. The taste is quite distinctive and easy to detect. It can also cause bad breath. If it sometimes tastes like you’ve just chowed down on a roll of quarters, call your family dentist right away and schedule an appointment. The earlier you treat the condition, the greater your chances of getting rid of it completely and staving off periodontitis.
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Schedule an Appointment with Your Ephrata PA Dentist
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, you should visit your dentist office ASAP. Regular visits will keep your teeth in tip-top shape and help you avoid serious dental conditions months or years down the road.