If you avoid dental visits, you’re not alone. Maybe you’re experiencing uncomfortable symptoms and aren’t sure you need to make the call. Or you could be among the nearly 20 percent of adults who experience dental anxiety. If you’re not sure you need to see a dentist, there are some telltale signs that it’s time.
1. Trouble Eating
Discomfort, pain, or difficulty eating and chewing are problems that shouldn’t go untreated. Eating should not be painful, nor should you need to be careful about where and how you chew your food. It’s time to make the call if you’ve started dreading your meals or you’re waiting for a wrong move to shoot pain through your mouth.
2. Cracked or Chipped Tooth
Sometimes a cracked or chipped tooth immediately causes intense pain. If that’s the case, there’s no question whether or not to seek professional help. But what if you crack or chip the tooth and it’s a little uncomfortable but not unbearable? The answer—see a dentist. Chips and cracks can grow in size and severity, potentially leading to the loss of the tooth.
3. Red, Swollen, or Bleeding Gums
Red, swollen, or bleeding gums are signs of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Your mouth is full of bacteria. That bacteria, along with food particles and saliva form sticky plaque, that if not removed, turns into tartar. Plaque and tartar lead to those red, unhappy gums.
Plaque and tartar are removed as part of a regular dental cleaning. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional because it hardens and needs scraping. Regular brushing and flossing remove plaque and help prevent tartar buildup. However, they work best when you also keep your dental cleaning appointments on the schedule set by your dentist.
4. You’ve Had Dental Work Done
Dental work needs regular maintenance to stay strong and intact. Dental work such as fillings, crowns, dental implants, and dentures require check-ups to make sure they haven’t begun to fail or get compromised. Follow-up care and check-ups are vital to the success of your dental work.
At Good Samaritan Dental Institute, we offer free yearly follow-up appointments for the life of our dental implants. These appointments check the implant, along with the health of the gums, surrounding teeth, and bone structure. This proactive approach can stop complications before they start.
5. Spots and Sores
New spots and mouth sores that don’t disappear after a week need some attention. Sometimes these sores can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. In other cases, your dentist can provide treatment to get rid of uncomfortable sores.
6. Jaw Pain
Ongoing jaw pain can affect every part of your life. It can make it hard to eat, participate in activities, or even sleep. Disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the surrounding area can cause jaw pain or popping. It’s not the only condition that could cause jaw pain. A dentist can determine what’s at the root of the pain and develop a treatment plan.
7. Bad Breath
Persistent bad breath can be embarrassing, but it isn’t something you have to live with for the rest of your life. Bad breath can also be a sign of gum disease or another treatable dental or medical condition.
8. You Avoid Smiling
Broken, missing, and decayed teeth are more than enough to make you self-conscious about your smile. At Good Sam, we believe a day without a smile is one that needs fixing. A beautiful smile is more than a visual change. It’s the restoration of your confidence and self-esteem. There’s no need to go another day with a smile that doesn’t make you happy. Dr. Slavin and his team can help with your smile when you’re ready to see a dentist.
Final Thoughts—Don’t Wait
Don’t wait to call your dentist if experiencing one of these signs. There’s help out there and solutions waiting to relieve pain. At Good Samaritan Dental Implant Institute, we’re ready to help restore your oral health and get you on the way to a better, more beautiful smile. Schedule a free consultation at 561-833-6880 to get started with dental implants.