You should see your dentist at least twice yearly to get professional cleanings, exams, and x-rays. However, between these routine visits, you may need to make an appointment with us at Langley Dental Care to address specific issues. The following are signs you need to visit your dentist:
Waking up with jaw pain, even if it only happens a few times a week, is a red flag to see your dentist. You may grind your teeth at night, which is called bruxism. Over time, the jaw pain and headaches will not be the worst of your problems. You may also develop neck pain and worn or cracked teeth from the pressure and stress of your teeth clenching together each night.
Your dentist will evaluate your mouth to see if you have any existing damage from bruxism and fix those problems. They can also recommend ways to stop grinding your teeth at night to prevent future issues. By treating the cause of your jaw pain and headaches, your dentist will help you sleep better and prevent future broken teeth and the subsequent pain from those.
When you eat, you should never feel pain. If you have pain or tenderness in one area of your mouth when you bite down, you may have decay, inflammation, or infection inside a tooth that needs prompt attention.
Some people who have pain when they bite down may only need a tooth filling to stop decay from progressing in a tooth. Others may have had the decay continue until it reached the root canals, requiring root canal therapy. Both procedures have similar levels of discomfort initially following treatment, followed by lasting pain relief because they fixed the source of the pain.
Don’t put off going to the dentist. If you neglect the pain of your tooth and it suddenly stops, your dentist may not be able to save the tooth, and you’ll need a tooth extraction, which has a longer recovery time than fillings or root canal treatments.
New sensitivity in one or all your teeth should never be ignored. Nor should you try to cover it up with over-the-counter sensitivity toothpaste without first talking to your dentist. You may have an underlying cause for the tooth sensitivity, especially if it lasts several seconds after you stop eating the triggering food or drink.
Sensitivity in a single tooth could mean internal root problems that require cleaning and filling the root canal through root canal therapy. Widespread sensitivity could happen for many reasons, including worn tooth enamel or gum disease.
Discoloration in all your teeth may happen from a food or drink stain. However, when you have a single tooth that darkens, it could indicate decay inside the tooth that requires treatment. Some people don’t even have pain and only visit the dentist for the discoloration to find out they need root canal therapy to save the tooth. After treating the cause of the discoloration, your dentist can correct the discoloration with dental bonding or a porcelain veneer.
A chipped or broken tooth needs attention for aesthetic and physical treatment. Anytime you expose the root canals to bacteria, which can happen when you break a tooth, you must have the area cleaned and sealed to protect against infection.
Even a minor chip that doesn’t impact the tooth’s interior can take away from the beauty of your smile. Your dentist can cosmetically correct the tooth with bonding or a veneer.
Blood on your toothbrush, even a little, is not normal. Bleeding gums is a sign of periodontal disease, the top cause of tooth loss for adults over 35. The good news is that you can stop gum disease and prevent losing teeth to it through a special deep cleaning procedure known as scaling and root planing.
Kids losing baby teeth should have teeth feel loose just before they naturally fall out. However, adults should never have loose teeth. If you notice one or more of your teeth feels loose, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.
You don’t always have to experience a problem making an appointment with your dentist. If you want to make your smile look better, schedule a visit to see which cosmetic dental services your dentist recommends for you. Options include Invisalign, veneers, bonding, and whitening.
Gums pulling away from the bases of your teeth is another major indication of progressing gum disease. You may require periodontal cleaning to stop gum disease from causing lost teeth. Additional treatments to reshape the gums and reduce the appearance of elongated teeth may also be required, depending on the extent of the recession.
Inflamed gums or sores may be signs of an infection deep inside teeth or progressing gum disease. Your dentist will need to thoroughly examine your teeth and gums and take x-rays to determine the cause. Only after an evaluation can you get care to fix the tooth or your gums. Without treatment, you may have gum disease that worsens or a tooth infection that spreads.
We’re always happy to see you at Langley Dental Care in Charlotte. Whether you need a simple exam and cleaning or have a problem or concern you want to talk about, we’re here to help you. Call us today to schedule your appointment. If you have an emergency, call on your way in so we can get you to see a doctor as soon as possible after arriving. Our friendly staff will ensure you feel comfortable whenever you see us. We want you to feel good about partnering with us to help you have a healthy smile for life.