Have you ever visited the dentist thinking everything is okay, only to be told during your checkup that you need a filling, or that you have a cavity? Sometimes, we have no idea that there is something wrong. However, when things start to get a bit more serious, we are able to pick up on the signs and book ourselves an appointment.
If you think you might have a dental issue but you’re not entirely sure what it may be, here are 15 signs to look out for that could mean you need to book in for your next appointment.
Sensitivity to Hot or Cold Temperatures
If you’ve noticed a sudden sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures against your teeth, there’s a good chance you’re suffering from tooth decay and may have a cavity. The quicker you book an appointment and get your cavity filled, the better!
Puffy, Inflamed, or Bleeding Gums
If your gums are looking more red or puffy than normal, or you’ve noticed that they’ve started to bleed when you’re brushing or flossing your teeth, you could have gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused by hardened plaque under the gumline, and if left untreated it could develop into periodontitis, which could in turn lead to tooth loss.
Change in Fillings, Crowns, Dentures, etc.
Chances are, if you’ve had a filling, crown, dental implants, or any other type of dental work fitted in your mouth, you’ll be used to the sensation of it being there. If you start to feel changes to how your dental work feels, or if it starts to become painful, there may be something wrong that your dentist needs to fix, and you should call up and explain the situation as soon as possible.
White Spots Appearing on Teeth
Discovering white spots on your teeth is the first sign of dental decay – they’re the result of your tooth enamel beginning to dissolve as a result of acid in your mouth produced by bacteria. When it comes to tooth decay, it can take some time for symptoms to become apparent, which is why you should always aim to visit your dentist frequently, even if nothing appears to be amiss.
Pregnancy brings about plenty of changes to your body – but have you thought about the changes it could make to your teeth? The last thing you want during your final trimester is a splitting toothache, so make sure to make an appointment with your dentist to check that everything’s a-okay.
Many people don’t connect headaches with dental health, but the two can be very closely linked. If you’ve been getting more and more headaches, increasing in frequency and intensity, a visit to your dentist could set you right. Make sure to mention whether your headaches have been occurring in the morning, as this could be a result of grinding your teeth in your sleep – otherwise known as bruxism.
While a dry mouth could be something not very sinister at all – it is often a side effect of medication or simply a sign of aging – it could also be a sign of bacteria or disease spreading in your mouth. If your dry mouth doesn’t seem to have an origin and doesn’t recede after a few days, contact your dentist to be safe.
Spots and Sores
There are plenty of reasons you might discover a spot or sore in your mouth, but if they are persistent and remain for longer than a week, it might be a good idea to inform your dentist. They could simply be cold sores or canker sores, but sores could also be a warning sign for infection or disease.
Remember what we said about gingivitis? Well, inflamed gums aren’t the only indicator of this gum disease. Gingivitis can also be spotted by persistent bad breath. If you feel you’ve got bad breath even after brushing and flossing, this could be sure sign. Book an appointment with your dentist to uncover the root of the problem and treat it before it has the chance to develop.
Smoking and Drinking
If you drink, smoke, or use any other type of tobacco product regularly, you’re at a higher risk of developing oral health issues. As a result, you should make appointments to visit your dentist regularly in order to keep a close eye on your dental health and catch any problems as soon as they arise.
Pre-existing Medical Conditions
Medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eating disorders, or being HIV positive can all affect your teeth in a variety of ways, though you might not see them as being directly related. Keep your dentist up to date with your medical health so that they know what to keep an eye on and where they should be looking.
Pain or Swelling in Mouth, Face, or Neck
Any issues that arise around your mouth, face, and neck could be to do with your oral health. If there isn’t an obvious answer for your swelling – such as being hit in the face by a football – then you might do best to contact your dentist and let them take a look.
If you’re suddenly experiencing pain when it comes to eating, chewing, or swallowing, your dentist will able to to get to the root of the problem. While you wait for your appointment, try to focus on consuming foods that are softer, or liquid-based meals such as soup. These will be easier on your teeth and throat until you can be seen by your dentist.
A metallic taste in your mouth is just one more symptom for – you guess it – gingivitis. Not only is it a very distinctive taste, but it can also lead to bad breath. The sooner you begin to treat gingivitis, the more chance you have of healing it completely, so don’t waste time and book in an appointment with your dentist immediately.
Noticing pain in your jaw when you open and close your mouth, when you chew, or when you first wake up in the morning, are all common signs of something being wrong with your dental health. It could also be a sign of an uneven bite, which your dentist will be able to identify for you.
If you’ve noticed any of these issues, don’t hesitate to book an appointment. Redbank Plains Dental is your local Riverview dentist. We’re close by, easy to get to, and ready to help you out with an appointment whenever you need. We’re dedicated to giving you a quality service, and getting your the care that you need.