When you have a toothache or visible problem with your teeth or gums, an emergency visit to the dentist is generally a priority. Other than routine visits and dental emergencies, there are some other times in which you should make an appointment right away. Some oral health symptoms may not be noticeable to you unless someone else points it out. Or you may have gotten used to the symptoms on a daily basis. Here are some things to look out for and address with your oral health care specialist at your next dental visit.
Bleeding When Brushing
When you brush and floss your teeth, do you notice any blood in the sink? Unless you accidentally tore part of your gums when you were brushing, there should generally not be any visible blood. One early sign of gingivitis or gum disease is bleeding of the gums. After brushing, examine your teeth and gums. If there is blood on your teeth or anywhere else in your mouth, you should be concerned. Gingivitis is the leading cause of tooth loss and decay. Address this issue with your dentist so he can diagnose the issue and institute periodontal care if necessary.
For severe trouble swallowing or if you feel like your airways are closing, don't wait to see a dentist—call 911 immediately. If you have mild swallowing issues, take a look at the very back of your throat near your tonsils. Does one side seem more swollen than the other? Are the sides symmetrical, or does one side look different? This could be an indication of a wisdom tooth impaction or tonsillitis. It could also be something more serious such as lymphoma. Your dentist will perform a pre-cancer screening to rule out any potential risks. If it looks suspicious you may be referred to an ENT or ear, nose and throat specialist
You may have had a click in your jaw for as long as you can remember. While it generally may not be a concern, it's worth getting checked out by your dentist. It could be an indication of a serious disorder called TMD or temporomandibular disorder. This can lead to serious problems including arthritis and chronic pain. A referral to an orthopedic surgeon or an orthodontist will likely be recommended.
Everyone gets bad breath from time to time. When you do everything to combat your bad breath or halitosis, including routine dental cleanings and daily brushing and flossing but you feel your mouth still has an odor, it's time to bring it up to your dentist. It could be a sign of an infected tonsil, tooth decay or gum disease. Gum disease can cause halitosis and lead to more serious issues that can complicate underlying heart disease and other medical conditions including diabetes.
Regular maintenance with a dentist office, such as Dentrix Dental Care, is an important part of getting the best dental care possible. Don't hold back when you see your dentist—voice all of your concerns. It could prevent many serious issues down the road.