You know that if you suffer a dental emergency, such as extreme oral pain or a knocked-out tooth, you need to call your dentist for urgent treatment. If you experience more minor oral symptoms, you may feel tempted to ignore them or wait until your next regularly scheduled dental check-up.
However, sometimes a small issue in your smile can be a symptom of a more severe oral health concern. You should let your dentist know about any changes in your smile so that they can evaluate your condition.
You can feel more encouraged to communicate these less extreme dental problems to your dentist when you know more about them. Check out three examples of seemingly minor dental concerns that could point to larger problems that require intervention from your dentist.
Have you ever bitten into a food item like an ice cream bar and felt a sharp sudden jolt of pain in your tooth? This type of oral pain is known as tooth sensitivity. It occurs when the enamel, the tooth’s hard outer layer, erodes or weakens, exposing the nerves inside the tooth. When a stimulus, like food, touches these nerves, it sends pain signals to your brain.
When you remove the stimulus, the pain fades. But though intermittent, the sensation can feel excruciating. You may start to adjust your eating habits to avoid feeling this pain. Even if you think you can tolerate this pain, pain of any kind is abnormal enough to warrant dental attention.
Enamel erosion may develop for a number of reasons, but regardless, it points to a weakening in your dental structure. This can put you in greater danger of tooth decay and other dental problems.
You may also feel sensitivity pain due to an underlying dental condition like a cavity. You should seek a diagnosis from your dentist of the cause of tooth sensitivity to find relief from this pain as well as prevent worse oral health issues.
Sometimes you might see bleeding in your gums for acute reasons, like harsh teeth-brushing habits. But if your gums bleed on a chronic basis or every time you complete your oral hygiene regimen, it could be a sign of gum disease.
This infection of the gum tissue is common but has the potential to do serious damage to your smile. In its early stages, you may see bleeding, soreness, and swelling in the gums. Then it will progress to eat away at your teeth, gums, and jawbone.
Gum disease does not go away on its own and is easier to treat with early intervention. So do not delay contacting your dentist if you notice changes in your periodontal health.
Chronic Bad Breath
Bad-smelling breath can affect the best of us after a strong meal. But usually, this problem goes away when you complete oral hygiene and wash away lingering food particles.
But if a foul odor continues after this regimen, you may have another underlying issue causing your bad breath. Excess bacteria from gum disease and other dental concerns can make your breath smell. Talk to your dentist about chronic bad breath to diagnose and eradicate the problem in a timely fashion.