Wednesday, 13 February 2013

When Must You Consult a Dentist?

Who wouldn’t love to showcase those pearly whites when laughing or smiling? Surely, everyone would. But with a deluge of oral health problem, which could be as yellow teeth, to more serious problems like cavities, plaques and tartars, or bad breath caused by serious underlying ailments. People may also have problems with a broken tooth, or be affected by dental injuries and emergencies. All these cases require the immediate attention of a qualified dentist. Even when it’s a small toothache, you shouldn’t leave it untreated as you never know what might have caused it in the first place. If you are wondering how you will know when it’s time to visit a dentist, here are some factors to help you decide.

Common Symptoms

There are several oral and dental symptoms, which if noticed, demand medical attention at the earliest. Some common ones include:
  • Tartar and Plaque
  • Toothache
  • Cavities
  • Pain in the tooth
  • Gum disease
  • Oral disorders and/or infections
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold food items/beverages
  • Bad breath
  • Pain in the wisdom teeth
  • Tooth grinding
  • Temporomandibular disorders
  • Difficulty in speaking/chewing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • A dry, sticky feeling in your mouth
  • A sour taste in mouth
  • Gum swelling or redness
  • Swelling in chin, cheek, face, or neck
  • Pain in the jaw
  • Teeth discoloration
  • Mild fever
Most of these symptoms often don’t mean serious conditions unless they are left untreated, in which case they may worsen to trigger serious complications over time. So, the moment you notice any or a combination of these, make sure to get an appointment with your dentist to know the cause.

Emergencies and Injuries

Some injuries to your teeth, jaw, or mouth may require immediate attention of a dentist. This includes cases of:
  • Broken or cracked tooth
  • Broken jaw
  • Chipped tooth
  • A tooth that has been knocked out
  • Cuts or lacerations to your gums, cheeks, or tongue
Serious dental diseases

Did you know that in the US, someone suffering from oral cancer dies every hour of every day? If not, take note as this fact is supported by The Oral Cancer Foundation. Other serious dental diseases are salivary gland diseases, gingivitis, fungus infections, periodontitis, canker sores (also known as aphthous ulcer), and the deadly oral cancer. Some of these diseases may not be cured by oral medicines alone, and could demand oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Dental treatments

You will need to fix an appointment with your dentist for:
  • Fluoride therapy
  • Teeth bonding
  • Tooth whitening
  • Fillings
  • Orthodontics
  • Root canal treatment
  • Setting crowns/bridges
  • Getting dental implants
  • Fixing/replacing dentures
  • Tooth removal
  • Treating cleft lip/palate
Routine dental checkups

Regular visits to the dentists will not only help you enjoy good oral health but could also help you steer clear of dental emergencies. Several toothaches and dental problems can be easily detected by your dentist while they are still at an early stage, which in turn would make them easily treatable. In fact, early detection broken fillings, cavities, and gum diseases can help you avoid gum surgery, root canals, and removal of teeth.

So, apart from brushing your teeth at least two times every day, and flossing at least once a day, you should set a date with your dentist every 6 months for cleaning of your teeth and check-ups. This will ensure proper dental hygiene, and help you avoid many serious dental problems and diseases. Remember that popping pills, which you can buy over-the-counter, could give you speedy relief from pain at times, but by not consulting a dentist, you may end up aggravating an underlying problem. So, rather than playing the doctor, make sure to seek professional help and advice.

No comments:

Post a Comment