While it is recommended to pay a visit to the dentist every 6 months in order to prevent serious dental issues, not everyone can swing a twice a year visit consistently. In fact, a recent study shows that while most Americans value dental health care, almost 50% of adults do not go to the dentist as much as they would like to. Reasons for not regularly going to the dentist might be due to cost, busy schedules, or even it just simply being low on the priority list. However, there are a few physical signs that are early indicators of serious dental problems. Experiencing these symptoms should be followed with a visit to a dentist.
Everyone experiences having bad breath on occasion (i.e. – morning breath or after eating certain foods), but if you feel like you are constantly needing to mask bad breath with mints, mouth wash, and chewing gum, you might have a more serious problem to deal with. Halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, might be a sign of gum disease which is caused by a buildup of toxins in your mouth. These toxins weaken the gums and could potentially cause serious damage to them and even your jaw bone. Without healthy gums, you cannot have healthy teeth, so if you are experiencing chronic bad breath, visit a dentist for help.
There are many reasons you might be experiencing tooth sensitivity, and many of them are reasons to make time for a dental visit. If you feel a sharp pain in your mouth when eating or drinking something excessively hot, cold, acidic, or sweet, you are suffering from tooth sensitivity. For some, a simple shift in toothpaste can do the trick! There are many brands of toothpaste that are dedicated to people with sensitive teeth, such as Sensodyne™ or Colgate Prevident ™. If you do not have cavities or gum problems, then switching to one of these toothpastes might solve the problem!
Out of the many other potential causes, tooth sensitivity is most likely due to either a cavity forming or worn tooth enamel. If you experience high levels of stress, you might even be grinding your teeth which will begin to cause permanent damage to your enamel. If you are developing cavities, you must have a dentist fill them as quickly as possible, or else they can result in dangerous, more painful, and more expensive problems. An unchecked cavity could result in oral abscesses and in extreme cases could cause a patient to be septic. It is a very inexpensive fix that could potentially become fatal if not treated properly.
The causes of a dry mouth could be due to dehydration, prescription drug use, non-prescription drug use, or infection, but the result of having a chronically dry mouth is very damaging to your teeth. Saliva is our natural teeth cleanser and actively prevents bacteria and oral infections. Unfortunately, one of the biggest causes of tooth decay for adults is dry mouth. Without saliva, our teeth are left wide open for bad fungi that could cause serious problems. If you are experiencing chronic dry mouth, a dentist or doctor should be able to diagnose the cause and set you up with a treatment plan.
These are just a few of the very early physical signs of potential dental problems. If you are experiencing any of these, or if you would like more information about healthy dental practices, visit Carothers Family Dental, a San Marcos dental office, or call us to make an appointment. Remember, the best prevention for oral diseases and infections is regular professional teeth cleanings and checkups, so make time for a visit today.