It’s easy to try to ignore health conditions, secretly hoping that they’ll improve and we won’t need to make a trip to the doctor. The same goes for your teeth. Unfortunately, dental problems very rarely go away. In fact, they usually do get much worse. Here are some of the most common dental problems that people tend to ignore…and wind up regretting it.
Cavities That Don’t Hurt
Your dentist just diagnosed a cavity during your checkup. But it doesn’t hurt. So instead of getting it filled, you’ve decided to wait until you notice other symptoms. After all, “if it doesn’t hurt, why fix it?”
Surprisingly, not all cavities do hurt. You could have decay that’s large enough that the nerve abscesses or the tooth cracks in half before you actually start to “feel” something. By that point, it’s a more involved process to fix the problem.
Infected Baby Teeth
Baby teeth are made to fall out and be replaced with permanent ones. However, they also play a very critical role in the development of your child’s oral anatomy and tooth eruption. If a baby tooth becomes infected, that infection can spread to the permanent (adult) tooth underneath it. Or if it needs to be pulled prematurely, the adult teeth may not erupt into the proper location, leading to crowding or a change in jaw anatomy.
Don’t let your little one’s oral health slip by, thinking that they’ll get a second chance once they’re older…a healthy adult smile starts with healthy teeth during childhood.
A Rough Spot on a Tooth
Smooth contours and surfaces are exactly what a person should feel when they run their tongue across their teeth. When a sudden sharp or rough area can be felt, it means the tooth structure has been compromised. Whether it’s a small chip or leaky filling may not be known until you finally get your dentist to take an X-ray or look more closely at the area.
A Bad Taste Coming From a Specific Tooth
Do you notice a foul taste or odor coming from a specific area inside of your mouth? Maybe you can only tell if you’re running your tongue across the gums, sucking around the tooth, or your loved one mentions the sensitive topic when you’re up close. Bad breath or an odd taste isn’t always an oral hygiene problem…it could be caused by a bacterial infection that’s going on inside of your mouth!
Food Getting Caught Between Teeth
Biting into corn on the cob or enjoying a nice juicy steak are some of the most common times when you might be reaching for the floss. But if you have a problem spot that tends to collect food every single time you eat, it’s because there’s excessive space that shouldn’t be there. The most common causes could include a broken tooth, cavity, broken filling, or gum disease.
Sensitivity During a Meal
Not all foods irritate your teeth, but food that is sweet, hot, or very cold can sometimes trigger a response if your tooth is damaged. The sensitivity is usually localized and focused on one or two teeth — the damaged ones — as opposed to an overall generalized sensitivity. If you feel the pain throbbing or jolting through a specific tooth, your body is trying to tell you something.
Something Feeling “Off”
Sometimes tooth trouble isn’t all that noticeable. It may just feel like something isn’t quite right when you’re biting down or chewing. Even fractures of a millimeter may be noticeable to your teeth, which are designed to fit together in a specific manner.
When your bite isn’t calibrated properly, it could be an indication that something is broken, moving, damaged, or infected. Your dentist can check your bite using articulating paper or other technology that measures where the upper and lower teeth come together.
Call Your Dentist Sooner Rather Than Later
If you’ve been experiencing any of these subtle symptoms, you ought to let your dentist know right away. Routine dental checkups can help your dental provider diagnose problems at their earlier stages, so that they’re more affordable to fix.
…But if you don’t have dental insurance with your employer, you may be months (or even years) behind on your checkups. At Aetna Dental Offers, we have flexible dental savings plans that are great alternatives to traditional insurance plans. These discount programs can reduce your dental costs by as much as 15-50% when it comes to exams, x-rays, or fillings. Ready to learn more? Contact our affordable dental plan experts today.
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