We’ve found that some patients like to ignore problems they’ve been having with their teeth and gums — whether it’s because they have an aversion to the dental chair, they don’t think a little pain is a big deal, they think they just don’t have the time, they are nervous about cost, or some combination of those factors.
Here’s the thing: dental issues don’t just slink away because you try to ignore them. In fact, they grow. The longer you wait, the more pain you will likely experience, the more intrusive restorative procedures you’ll have to endure, and the bigger bill you’ll have to pay. It’s best to call our office at the first sign something’s not right and nip the problem in the bud.
Sign #1: Your Tooth Hurts
A toothache is a general symptoms that can have any number of causes. It can be sharp or dull and throbbing. It may be constant or occur only when pressure is applied to the tooth. Regardless, it’s important to get in to see us before it gets worse. Potential reasons for your toothache include: a cavity, abscessed tooth, broken or chipped tooth, and a damaged restoration.
Sign #2: Your Gums are Swollen and Tender
Very early gum disease generally causes no symptoms, so once you notice your gums are tender, puffy, or red, your periodontal disease has likely progressed to some degree. It’s very important to come to us promptly so we can start treatment, which may be as simple as improving your oral hygiene routine at home or as complex as oral surgery. Untreated gum disease may cause tooth loss and has even been associated with serious systemic diseases.
Sign #3: Your Jaw Hurts
If you’ve been suffering from pain in your jawbone, you may have a problem with your TMJ — that set of tiny joints that connects your jawbone to your skull. Other symptoms may include headache, pain in your neck and shoulders, earache, facial pain, clicking or other noises when you open your mouth, and lockjaw. If your TMJ disorder is caused by clenching and grinding, we can make you a custom mouthguard to protect your jaw at night.
Sign #4: You Suffer from Chronic Snoring
Snoring isn’t always just snoring. If this is becoming a problem for you (and your loved ones), you may suffer from sleep apnea, which is a very serious condition in which afflicted people actually stop breathing during the night. Sleep apnea diminishes quality of sleep and overall quality of life, and is associated with systemic disease. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type, caused by a physical blockage of the airway. We can make you a mouthguard that keeps you breathing steadily all night.