Although maintaining excellent oral health is a critical component of sustaining overall wellness, many people are guilty of procrastinating visiting their dentists. According to the most recent national report on America’s Health Rankings, 66.7% of Americans have visited the dentist in the past year. However, Texans fall short of the national average (57.5%). Out of all 50 states, Texas ranks 48 in Dental Visits by State.
Despite putting off essential dental visits, your body could be telling you that you need to go right now. So, the dentists at Lakewood Family Dental Care have devised a list of ten questions to run through. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you should schedule a quick visit to our East Dallas dental office for a check-up.
1. Do I have a toothache?
Pain is the body’s first warning sign that something is wrong. If your teeth, mouth, or jaw feel mild to severe pain, it could be from a toothache. Usually, toothaches indicate a cavity—or a small hole in the tooth’s hard, outer surface (enamel) caused by tooth decay.
But toothaches can also signify gum disease, an abscess, or an impacted tooth. If the pain is severe enough, toothaches can be considered a dental emergency. Therefore, it’s wise for people to consult with their dentists right away so that they can identify the cause of the toothache and save your smile from further damage.
2. Do my teeth feel sensitive?
Even though dental sensitivity can also be tooth pain, it differs from a standard toothache. Typically, dental sensitivity is usually a sharp, sudden flash of pain triggered by hot and cold sensations (for example, hot coffee or ice cream). Sensitivity could indicate a few things.
In areas where your enamel is worn down or a cavity forms, the softer layer underneath (dentin) is exposed. So, extreme temperatures stimulate the underlying dental nerves.
If your gums are beginning to pull away from the base of your teeth, your tooth roots are likely showing. Thus, causing discomfort.
3. Do my gums bleed while brushing?
Bleeding gums could mean that you’re brushing too hard. On the other hand, bleeding, puffy gums could indicate gum disease, meaning an infection of the gingival tissue. Suppose you are lucky and can catch gum disease at its earliest stage (gingivitis). In that case, your dentist can reverse it through scaling and root planing (a professional, deep dental cleaning) and oral hygiene maintenance.
However, gum disease is a progressive infection that first irritates the gums and can enter the bloodstream. The same gum disease-causing plaque is found in arteries throughout the body and may lead to cardiovascular conditions and other systemic health issues. Theoretically, visiting your dentist’s office could save your overall health.
4. Have I ever had dental work done?
Dentists use fillings, dental crowns, dental implants, and dental prosthetics to help teeth regain function, feel, and beauty. Regular dental visits ensure that previous dental work is in excellent condition and adjustments can happen (if needed).
5. Do I feel self-conscious about my smile?
Conventional wisdom and recent findings in the field of psychology support the claim that smiling can make people feel happier. But, if you’re embarrassed by the way your smile looks, you may want to smile less.
Along with keeping your teeth, gums, and jaw healthy, most general dentists can also improve the way your smile looks through cosmetic dentistry treatments. Our Lakewood Dental Group dentists offer a wide range of proven, safe methods to enhance the shade, shape, and straightness of your smile.
6. Do I have any difficulty eating?
What you eat directly impacts the health of your teeth and gums, but it can work the other way around too. Struggling with chewing and swallowing is not normal and may impact your nutrition. So, speak to your dentist if you are having trouble eating.
7. Does my mouth feel dry?
Dry mouth (xerostomia) happens when there is an inadequate saliva flow. Although xerostomia is not necessarily a disease, it can have unsatisfactory side effects, such as difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, and extensive tooth decay.
8. Does my jaw hurt?
Jaw pain isn’t always a dire circumstance, but it can signify an underlying oral health problem. Multiple factors can cause jaw pain. Sometimes, your jaw can hurt from a cavity, an impacted tooth, or gum disease. Several people suffer from chronic pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Regardless, your dentist may be able to help alleviate jaw pain.
9. Does my mouth have any oral sores?
Look in the mirror and open your mouth wide. Do you see any sores on your lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, roof, or floor of the mouth? If so, it’s worth getting these sores inspected by your dentist. Oral sores that don’t go away in two weeks or mutate may indicate oral cancer.
10. Was my last trip to the dentist’s office a while ago?
As a good rule of thumb, many dentists advise patients to visit every six months. Even if you brush and floss every day, regular dental visits help keep your mouth clean and healthy. Here, your dental hygienists and dentists will remove caked-on plaque deposits and identify red flags for cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. Regular visits help your dental team find prompt solutions, which can save your health, time, and money in the long run.
Nevertheless, there’s no universal dental treatment. Some patients need to see their dentists only once a year. While people with a higher risk of developing dental disease and other health conditions require more frequent visits, including people who:
- Use any form of tobacco
- Have a weak immune system
- Are prone to cavities, plaque build-up, and gum disease
- Have diabetes, an eating disorder, or another ongoing health issue
- Are pregnant
Ideally, you and your dentist will work together to develop a treatment plan that matches your needs.
How do I find dentists near me?
After searching “dentists near me” in Google or another search engine, you might’ve stumbled upon Lakewood Dental Group. Our five-star dentists provide comprehensive dental care in Dallas, TX. Find out what the buzz is about and book a dental appointment with us today by calling 214-827-1885 or messaging us online right away.