Fixing dental problems can be very expensive if you let them go untreated. You can save money if you take care of your teeth and get them treated when you first see some early signs of dental trouble.
The Good News
Except for trauma to your mouth and teeth, dental problems usually do not occur overnight. They are usually slow in development, which enables you or the dentist to catch them early.
Early Signs of Dental Problems
There are several things that could be considered as early signs that you have a dental problem on the way. When the warning sign first strikes that is the best time to do something about it and get to the dentist office.
- Sensitive Teeth
One of the first signs of dental trouble is that you have sensitive teeth. Whenever you eat or drink something that is hot or cold, sweet or salty, you feel pain in one or more teeth. It goes away before long, but it definitely lets you know that there is a problem. It usually means that you have a cavity.
Sensitive teeth are caused by the thinning of the enamel on your teeth. This occurs as a result of several factors, which primarily are eating and drinking a lot of acidic drinks or foods and not brushing your teeth as often as you should.
- Inflamed Gums
When your gums become red or inflamed, and they bleed when you brush them, it is because you likely have gum disease. You will probably also have bad breath. If there are no other symptoms, then it is gingivitis. You can usually remove it by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
If you have other symptoms, such as your gums are pulling away from your teeth and you have pus at the gum line, then you have the more advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis. Once it gets to this stage, you will need the help of a dentist to remove it. You may need medications, a non-invasive surgery called scaling and root planing, and more. The sooner this problem is treated, the better.
- Food Always Lodging between Teeth
If you leave food between your teeth on a regular basis, it will not be long before cavities develop. This could happen for two reasons. The first is that you are not removing it by flossing as you should. The bacterium that causes cavities does so by producing acid every time it comes in contact with sugar. When you leave the food between your teeth, the bacteria is constantly producing acid there and your saliva and toothbrush are not washing it away.
- Receding Gums
When you have receding gums, it is most likely a sign of gum disease. This makes your teeth look longer, and it reveals that your gums are pulling away from your teeth. It means pockets of bacteria are forming around your teeth. Dental treatment is needed.
- Loose Teeth
If you notice that one or more of your teeth are becoming loose, you need to see a dentist right away. This is a sign of severe periodontitis. This advanced gum disease is often nearly painless so many people do not seek treatment until serious damage has already taken place.
Most likely, you have also already had some other symptoms with the loose teeth. Other symptoms may include bleeding gums when you brush or floss, inflamed gums, continual bad breath, and pus along the gum line.
The reason for these symptoms is because the harmful bacteria is causing inflammation that has now turned into an autoimmune disease that is attacking your gums, the support structures for your teeth, and your jawbone. The inflammation is destroying these structures and the damage may require surgery to repair it. Without treatment from a periodontist, your teeth will become looser and fall out.
- Mouth Sores
Developing a sore in your mouth is not all that unusual, but there are some things you should watch for. If the sore lasts more than two weeks and is a white or red patch, you should have a dentist look at it. While it might just be a canker sore, it could be oral cancer. A dentist can identify cancer and can provide a basic biopsy on it just to be sure. Oral cancer needs quick treatment because they typically spread fast.
How to Reduce Your Risk
In order to reduce your risk of dental problems and periodontal disease, there are some steps you can take. They include:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time.
- Floss every day to remove food particles between your teeth.
- Eat a healthy diet – reduce carbs and sugar in food and drink.
- Quit smoking.
- Get regular dental checkups to spot potential dental problems early.
If you have early signs of dental problems or gum disease, you can get gum disease treatment from Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS MBA, a Board Certified Periodontist. He can help you with gum infection, gum recession, tooth decay, and with cosmetic dentistry. He has dental offices in the Carrollton, Cedar hill, Mockingbird/SMU, and Grapevine, TX areas. For a consultation or dental checkup, you can contact his office today at 214-731-0123