If you’re experiencing symptoms with your teeth or mouth that are causing you discomfort, it can feel confusing to know whether to take a wait and see approach or if you need to see a dentist as soon as possible. So, when should you call your dentist? Here are some things your symptoms might mean.
Toothache or Oral Discomfort
Dental discomfort is a common complaint, but it’s also important to know that the most common cause of toothaches is tooth decay and it’s important that tooth decay be treated as soon as possible before it leads to deeper cavities, tooth loss or infection. Discomfort or increased sensitivity is simply your body’s natural way of telling you that something needs your attention.
Spots or Discoloration
Serious problems with teeth can sometimes appear on the surface as white, brown or gray spots or discoloration of the whole tooth. It’s true that teeth can yellow with age or because of stains from food and drinks, so when should you call your dentist? If you notice any discoloration that seems unusual, sudden or concerning, it’s best to call your dentist for an exam to assess the condition of your teeth, as even prematurely yellowing teeth can be an early sign of decay or poor dental health that may need to be addressed.
Dry mouth has many causes ranging from health conditions like diabetes and autoimmune diseases to the side effects of snoring or an increased exercise or running routine. Dry mouth may not sound like a big deal, but the purpose of saliva is to help protect your teeth from bacteria and remineralize your enamel so if you’re experiencing dry mouth symptoms regularly it may mean that your body is having a hard time fighting cavities on its own and it’s a good idea to ask your dentist for ways that you can help your mouth stay balanced and healthy.
Broken or Missing Tooth or Filling
If you experience trauma or notice that a tooth is jagged or cracked it’s important to call your dentist as soon as possible. It’s also important if you notice a filling or crown is missing. All of these situations can expose the inner pulp or root of your tooth to bacteria and infection or result in death of the tooth if not treated urgently.
If a tooth is knocked out or falls out, it is also important to call your dentist as soon as possible not only to treat it to prevent further problems, but also because there is a chance that the tooth may be rooted back in place and saved before it dies if it is treated urgently.
Other Concerns or Questions
This is far from a complete list of answers to the question, “When should you call your dentist?” so if you’re concerned for any reason about your teeth or have any questions about your dental health, it’s always a good time and a great idea to reach out to your dentist. Your dentist is here for you, and your dental health is the priority, so don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have.
Call our Palm Desert office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.