Everyone visits the dentist twice a year for routine care. This allows most problems to be detected (and successfully treated) in the early stages. However, sometimes, dental issues can appear very suddenly – and you may need to book an appointment before your six-month check-up is due.
Here we take a look at some of the main warning signs that you need to see a dentist ASAP.
- Pain and swelling
This may seem obvious; but, toothache shouldn’t be ignored – particularly if it persists for more than two days or there’s swelling in the surrounding cheek. It could be a sign of infection, decay, gum disease, or a cracked tooth. And in most cases, if left untreated, the pain will only get worse.
A dentist will be able to determine the cause of the pain and treat the underlying condition. So, don’t suffer in silence. Just pick up the phone and get to the root of the problem.
- Bleeding gums
Do you see blood on your toothbrush or in the sink? If so, you should go to the dentist.
This is a major warning sign for gum disease. And, if it isn’t treated by a professional, it can quickly lead to a build-up of plaque and bacteria, bone loss around the tooth and eventual tooth loss.
Other symptoms of gum disease include swollen, sore or red gums. Therefore, if any of these sound familiar, get in touch with your local surgery and make an appointment as quickly as possible.
- White spots
White spots – on the surface of the tooth – are one of the first signs of tooth decay.
Chalky white areas start to appear as plaque accumulates and strips away calcium (and other minerals) from the enamel. This process is known as ‘demineralisation’ – and at this stage, it is usually reversible. So, if you happen to notice this change, be sure to visit the dentist.
Of course, headaches can occur for a wide range of different reasons. But if you tend to wake up with a headache most mornings – and also experience pain and stiffness in the jaw – it could be a sign of bruxism (i.e. teeth grinding and clenching) and you may be worth seeing a dentist.
Bruxism can eventually lead to broken and worn-down teeth, increased sensitivity, tooth loss and temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Hence it’s best to get checked by a professional. Not only can they recommend muscle-relaxation techniques – to help relieve your symptoms – they can also supply a personal mouth guard to reduce the grinding sensation and protect against further damage.
- Tenderness around the wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are notorious for causing issues. And if you’ve started to notice tenderness and swelling towards the back of your mouth, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
In many cases, there isn’t enough space – and, as a result, the new wisdom teeth only partially erupt. This can lead to a build-up of plaque, infection, and even a shift in the alignment of your teeth. As such, it’s important to see your dentist and deal with the issue as soon as possible.
- Spots and sores
Everyone gets a sore spot in their mouth from time to time. But if it doesn’t heal within a week or two – or it looks or feels particularly unusual or severe – you should definitely visit the dentist.
Nine times out of ten it’ll be nothing to worry about. Canker sores, cold sores and candidiasis (i.e. thrush) are all very common and easy to treat. But, sometimes, it can be a sign of oral cancer. As with all cancers, the earlier a diagnosis is made, the better. So, don’t put it off and book your appointment as a matter of urgency.
Recognise one of these warning signs?
It may be time to get in touch.
There are many signs that you need to visit a dentist outside of your routine check-up – and, if you feel something isn’t quite right about your oral health – there’s no need to wait for the next one. Simply contact the team, here at Kiln Lane Dental, and book an extra appointment.
We’re always happy to help and have both standard dental appointments and emergency appointments available four days a week. To book yours, and get to the bottom of your dental issue, either give us a call on 01744 25776 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.