Millions of people experience some type of dental pain or issues every year, and sometimes you probably wonder whether what you are experiencing is bad enough that you need to see a dentist. Some dental pain might be mild or temporary and you can take steps to fix it on your own. For example, if you have sensitive teeth you can avoid very hot or very cold food and your sensitivity isn’t likely to get worse. However, there are some things that you should never ignore. If you are experiencing any of these four dental issues, contact a dentist as soon as possible.
Extreme or Persistent Tooth Pain
You probably know you should see a dentist for tooth pain, but some people wait a long time, hoping it will go away on its own. Unfortunately most dental pain will only get worse. Left untreated for too long, dental pain can even start to impact your daily life. If it’s difficult or painful to eat and you avoid certain foods that can lead to nutritional deficiencies. It can also make it difficult to sleep and hard to focus on work or school. It could be a cavity or the beginning of a tooth abscess or gum disease that needs attention before it gets worse.
Bad Breath or Dry Mouth
Saliva forms a natural barrier for your teeth to prevent decay. Chronically dry mouth can lead to bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. You may notice other signs that are pointing to gum disease or gingivitis (a severe form of gum disease). These include:
- Chronic bad breath that doesn’t go away even after brushing
- Bleeding gums when you floss your teeth
- Traces of blood, red-tinted toothpaste, or pain when you brush
Dry mouth can also be a side effect from medications you are taking, or it could be the result of a medical condition called xerostomia.
Popping or Clicking Jaw
If your jawbone clicks or pops a lot—while you’re talking or chewing, for example—talk to your dentist. It’s usually a sign of temporomandibular joint disorder (often shortened as TMJ). Misalignment in your joint or some other issue like a degenerative disease could be a sign of an underlying condition that requires treatment. Most of the time TMJ won’t go away on its own, so see a dentist sooner than later to get the treatment you need.
Sores that Don’t Heal
Sores in your mouth can be painful and annoying, but most will go away on their own in a few days. If you notice a sore that isn’t healing after more than a week, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist. There are several reasons that a sore might not heal, including:
- Irritation from braces, retainers, or other dental devices
- Infection from a virus or bacteria
- Underlying medical conditions or disorders
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you’re experiencing these or other dental concerns, contact Young Family Dental today to schedule an appointment.