Common Dental Concerns People Ignore


Common Dental Concerns People Ignore

 

Many small medical conditions are simply temporary inconveniences. A skinned knee, sore muscle, scratchy throat and other minor maladies often don’t require a trip to the doctor’s office. Instead, they’ll simply heal themselves over time.  

Unfortunately, dental problems aren’t the same. Even minor dental issues can indicate the development of a potentially serious issue. So you never want to ignore a dental problem, because it’s unlikely to go away on its own.  

Let’s take a look at the most common dental concerns people ignore. What potential problems could these issues indicate, and what dental solutions are available? Here’s what to watch out for:  

Tooth Discoloration 

Stained, yellow teeth certainly don’t do wonders for one’s self-confidence. But tooth color is more than a superficial concern. Discoloration in your smile can indicate a serious underlying problem. 

Tooth stains can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic stains are caused by a problem affecting the internal tooth structure. Certain medications, dental trauma and tooth decay are some common reasons your teeth might yellow. Whitening treatments usually aren’t very effective for intrinsic issues. Instead, the core problem will need to be treated.  

Extrinsic stains aren’t as deep. They’re caused by something you’re eating or drinking. Common culprits include coffee, tea, red wine, berries and tobacco. Anything acidic, sticky or rich in pigment has the potential to cause extrinsic stains.        

While everybody wants white teeth, discoloration alone doesn’t cause many people to schedule a dental appointment. But changes in the color of your teeth absolutely should be checked out by a dental professional. Intrinsic stains can indicate a serious dental problem. Even extrinsic stains generally benefit more from professional treatment instead of over-the-counter products.  

Child Dental Problems 

Baby teeth are prone to problems. Even the best parents will have a hard time identifying potential dental issues in babies and toddlers. Before children can communicate with words, you’ll have to proactively look for signs of dental distress. 

Generally, keep an eye out for holes and dark spots on any teeth. Also watch for any signs of facial swelling, which could be an indication of a dental abscess.  

Even though a baby’s first set of teeth isn’t permanent, they still need to be taken care of. Healthy baby teeth provide a space for the proper development of permanent teeth. Plus, untreated dental infections can grow into more serious health problems.  

Generally, you’ll want to schedule your child’s first dental appointment around their first birthday. Start brushing their first tooth as soon as it appears. As soon as two teeth appear next to one another, you can also start flossing.   

Bleeding Gums 

Do you see a little bit of blood in the sink after brushing? Unfortunately, bleeding gums are a big signal of potential problems. Also known as gingivitis, gums bleed when plaque has built up on the gum line. 

Gingivitis can quickly develop into periodontitis. This is a much more serious issue which affects the gums and jawbone. A deep cleaning is required to remove the pockets of tartar build-up. 

Don’t ignore bleeding gums. Schedule a dental appointment as early as possible. Treating early-stage gingivitis is much easier (and cheaper) than treating advanced periodontitis.   

Tooth Pain 

When you bite or drink something hot or cold, do you feel a sudden flash of tooth pain? If this occurs on an even somewhat frequent basis, you might have a cavity. Early tooth decay is hard to notice. By the time you feel pain in your tooth, decay has likely already infected the nerve.  

Cavities can’t heal on their own. You’ll need to see a dentist for treatment. Depending on the severity of your cavity you might need a filling, crown or even a root canal. The earlier a cavity is detected, the easier treatment will be. So schedule an appointment at the first sign of tooth pain.  

Headaches 

Frequent headaches can be hard to ignore. But many people don’t consider their headaches might be caused by a dental issue. Specifically, TMJ is a jaw alignment condition which can cause neck pain, jaw pain, headaches, earaches and other facial pain.  

Schedule a dental visit if you have frequent headaches, tightness in the jaw or facial muscle tension. A dental professional will be able to analyze your bite and diagnose any TMJ conditions. Treatment for TMJ can include a mouth guard, physical therapy or possibly even surgery.   

How to Handle Dental Costs 

Ignoring dental problems can feel like an unfortunate necessity. A trip to the dentist can be expensive. Many people don’t want to pay for a dental visit until it seems absolutely necessary. So small dental issues are often ignored until they develop into major problems.  

A dental savings plan is a way to make a dental visit more affordable. Anyone can join a dental savings plan. Members present their card at any participating dentist’s office for savings between 15% and 50% on a wide variety of dental procedures.  

If you have any of the common dental issues listed above, you should consider a dental savings plan. You can start saving right away on many different dental procedures. Don’t ignore small dental issues – and don’t let cost keep you from effective treatment.      

 

 

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