You’re chowing down at a restaurant with a friend of yours for lunch when you feel a sharp pain followed by something a little harder than the rice that was in your burrito swishing around in your mouth. You spit it out in your napkin and discover that it’s a piece of the same tooth that’s been bothering you for a few weeks now.
You didn’t think a little tooth pain warranted spending money to go see a dentist, which was your first mistake. Tooth pain is actually one of the first signs that you should make a dental appointment.
To help you prevent further tooth problems in the future, here are a few symptoms of conditions that you should be seeing the dentist for straight away.
1. Bad Breath
Bad breath or halitosis is an embarrassing mouth issue that you shouldn’t be trying to cover up with mouthwash. While mouthwash can help, it usually only does so for a few hours at a time. Besides, bad breath usually points to worse mouth problems that you shouldn’t ignore in favor of a quick fix.
Some of these problems are dry mouth, gum disease, tongue bacteria, and even oral cancer. It may feel silly to go to the dentist for what feels like such a minor problem as bad breath but better safe than sorry.
Toothaches can be debilitating. You can put off the pain by flossing, rinsing with warm water, and taking painkillers, but that won’t keep the problem away for very long.
Chronic tooth pain followed by pus and swelling is a sign of an abscess. This is something that a simple over-the-counter painkiller can’t cure. You’ll need to go to the dentist to get the proper antibiotics.
Cavities are one of the most common tooth issues out there. It’s especially common if you tend to stop by Starbucks every morning on your way to work. This is because the sugar in that cup of java combines itself with plague to attack your enamel.
4. Tooth Erosion
Tooth erosion is another enamel problem. Acids work their way past the enamel’s defenses to weaken the overall structure of your tooth. This sounds an awful lot like cavities but it’s a little more serious.
The most common symptom that you will notice is that your mouth will suddenly become a lot more sensitive to the foods that you once loved, like ice cream. Your tooth may also suddenly crack or break off when you bite into something hard.
5. Gum Disease
Gum disease is one of the most common causes of tooth loss for people over the age of 30. The biggest risk factors for this happening is dry mouth, diabetes, and smoking.
Some of the symptoms of gum disease are bad breath, swollen and/or bleeding gums, painful chewing, and sensitive teeth. If you start experiencing any of these symptoms you should go see a dentist right away. A dental visit could be the only thing that can save your teeth.
6. Chipped Tooth
When you think of a tooth chipping you probably associate it with some sort of sports injury or any other scenario where your teeth come into contact with something hard. Quite often, it’s actually not caused by something so elaborate. You could bite into a hard bit of food and chip your tooth.
If this happens, don’t worry. You won’t have to live out the rest of your life with an unattractive chip in your tooth. The dentist can give you a crown or even use a strong resin to bond another material to your tooth as a replacement.
The only time where things get a little complicated is if your tooth chipped due to some sort of issue with the pulp. If this is the case, then you may have to prepare yourself for a root canal.
7. Oral Cancer
Lifestyle choices such as heavily tobacco use can cause you to run the risk of having oral cancer. Oral cancer is highly deadly but treatable if it’s caught on time. This is why normal dental visits are so vital.
So, if you have any sores, rough spots in your mouth, lumps, or have difficulty moving your mouth and jaw to chew food and talk, you need to speak to your dentist about taking an oral cancer exam.
8. Impacted Tooth
Sometimes your adult teeth don’t come in exactly as they should. Usually, this happens when you have heavy crowding in your mouth. The new tooth grows too close to another and gets stuck.
This is known as having an impacted tooth. It’s very common and doesn’t need to always be treated unless it’s painful to live with. If it is painful or your dentist takes an X-Ray of your mouth and determines it will cause problems eventually, then a surgeon can easily remove it.
Common Tooth Problems that Warrant a Visit to the Dentist
If your tooth chips and falls out or you’re in extreme mouth pain of any kind you shouldn’t let it go. If you do, it may cause a serious problem down the road like gum disease, or worse, oral cancer. Use this guide to common tooth problems and their symptoms to keep a healthy smile.
All of the diseases on this list are usually preventable with the right oral care measures. Keep reading for a few essential care tips that you should be incorporating into your morning and nightly routine.