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8 Ways You’ll Know if It’s Time to See a Dentist

It’s a morning like any other. You’re going about your daily routine, pouring your coffee, getting ready for the day. Then, all of a sudden, it hits you: something’s wrong with your teeth. Something doesn’t feel quite right or look quite like it should.

As you examine your mouth in the mirror or rub your jaw, you may be wondering, “Should I go see a dentist? Or is it not that big of a deal? Can it wait?” Here are eight different ways you can tell if it’s time to pick up the phone and make an appointment.

1. Your Teeth Hurt

We know, this one’s a bit on-the-nose. If your teeth consistently cause you pain, it’s time to get a professional opinion. While it’s true that some tooth pain can be caused by a sinus infection or other factors, if your teeth are constantly hurting for a week or longer, chances are good it’s a cavity. If left unchecked, that toothache could spread to your jaw and be much more difficult to relieve.

2. Your Teeth are Sensitive

If you can’t drink your coffee or enjoy a bowl of ice cream without your teeth aching, there’s something wrong. Minimally, the protective enamel on your teeth has been damaged, or the roots of your teeth are exposed by receding gums. It could also be caused by a deep cavity or inflamed pulp. Either way, if you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity or sporadic bursts of pain, you need to pay a visit to your Barrie dentist.

3. You Have a Fever

Many of us know to expect a fever when we’re suffering from a cold or flu, but what do you do when you’ve got no sniffles, no joint aches, and no hacking cough, but you’re still burning up? The perpetrator might well be a tooth infection or abscessed tooth. Your dentist will be able to tell you if your teeth are the reason for your elevated temperature.

4. Your Teeth are Stained or a Strange Colour

Some kinds of tooth discolouration are benign, especially if you drink wine, coffee, or other dark-coloured drinks. However, if you notice a random spot on your teeth, or if one tooth is a different colour than the rest, it could be a sign of a deeper problem.

5. You Have Swollen and Tender Lymph Nodes

Your body has several different lymph nodes, which are part of your immune system. They’re home to white blood cells, which help you fight off infections. In essence, they act as your body’s early warning system if something is wrong, which is why it’s important to pay attention to any changes. If the ones under your jaw are swollen or tender, it could be a sign of a tooth infection. Your dentist will be able to diagnose the cause further.

6. Your Gums are Red, Sore, Bleeding, or Puffy

Plaque build ups are one of the leading causes of gum disease, but it can also be caused by genetics, pregnancy, diabetes, or medications. If you notice that your gums aren’t looking healthy or are feeling sorer than they normally do, it’s time for a checkup.

7. Your Teeth Feel Loose or They’ve Shifted

Once your adult teeth come in, they’re supposed to last for the rest of your life. If your teeth are feeling loose, or if you notice that your bite has changed, your dentist needs to know. These could be signs of bone loss or infection, and the sooner you address the problem, the better chance you have of avoiding dentures.

8. It’s Been Six Months or Longer Since You Last Saw Your Barrie Dentist

Regular checkups are a part of good oral health. If you haven’t seen a dentist in six months or more, you’re overdue, even if your teeth feel fine right now. These visits aren’t just to keep your teeth clean, although that’s certainly a benefit. Regular checkups also allow your dentist to check for oral cancer or gum disease and identify any invisible issues with x-rays.

For more information on the services we offer, or if you have questions about your teeth, call our office at (705) 721-1143 or send us a message online.

Dr. Elston Wong Portrait

About Dr. Elston Wong

Dr. Elston Wong completed his dental degree at The University of Toronto in 1999 before arriving in Barrie in 2002. After graduating, he continued to learn everything he could about dentistry. Now he has taken the time to share important information for anyone to read.

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