Good oral hygiene is more important than many realize. What starts as a simple toothache can turn into a cavity, and that cavity can turn into a root canal. While semi-annual checkups are important, if you notice problems during the six months between visits, you may want to give your doctor a call. Here are 5 signs you should see your dentist today.
1. Increased sensitivity to hot and cold
Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures is often a sign of decay, or other dental issues. Decay can move through the enamel (hardened protective layer) of your teeth and into the center of your tooth, which contains nerves and blood vessels. When this happens, you may experience new or increased sensitivity to temperatures and even certain foods—like your favorite Popsicle.
Sensitivity to hot and cold could also be an indication of something less serious, such as teeth grinding. Additionally, if you are feeling temperature sensitivity in a tooth that already has a filling, there is a chance the filling is coming loose and needs to be replaced. Visit your Fort McMurray dental clinic (or the office nearest you), if you suffer from tooth sensitivity, as it can be an indication of more serious problems.
2. Decaying Gums
Gum disease includes gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (a more advanced condition) and is caused by plaque buildup. Plaque is an almost invisible, sticky film containing bacteria that forms on teeth within 24 hours. Over time plaque turns into tartar, which can accumulate under the gum line, causing inflammation.
If you’re experiencing any of these-gum related symptoms contact your dentist:
- Color changes; for instance, from a normal pink to a red or bluish-red color.
- Swollen gums that may have a spongy feel.
- Receding gum lines, making your teeth look larger.
3. White Spots on Teeth
Dental decay is essentially an infection in your tooth, which starts with the hard enamel dissolving. The first signs are white spots that form in the earliest stages.
When decay begins, particularly if it is happening between the teeth, you most likely won’t notice anything wrong. This is why regular checkups and X-rays are so important. When the white spots start to occur, you may be able to stop the process before it has the chance to form into an actual cavity that requires a filling.
4. Tooth Pain
Persistent tooth pain generally indicates a serious problem. Other related symptoms may include a tooth sensitive to touch or puss forming nearby–think Tom Hanks in Castaway. Keep in mind that even if the pain goes away, that doesn’t mean the problem is gone—while your body can fight off the infections, that doesn’t mean they can’t come back. Consult your dentist about any persistent tooth pain you may experience.
5. Changes in Color or Texture
Take some time while brushing your teeth to examine your mouth. Look at your cheeks, your tongue, and underneath your tongue for any changes in color or texture. Basically, you’re looking for anything that wasn’t there before. Changes in color, such as white or red patches that aren’t going away, or lumps that have formed in places that were previously smooth are all indications of potential decay or illness.
Keep a smile on that face—take care of your teeth and pay attention to the signs of an unhealthy mouth. Your teeth will be whiter and your smile brighter as you practice good oral hygiene and talk to your dentist.
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Chris Miller is a professional SEO specialist, blogger, writer, and English grammar enthusiast. Chris enjoys learning about new health products, procedures, and ideas. Some of his latest health ventures include learning about dentistry from sites such as Fort McMurray Smiles.