April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. While oral cancer isn’t a topic that most people…
As you get older, it’s only natural to experience a few more aches and pains than you did in your younger days, but not all of those aches and pains are temporary or benign. Some will go away by the morning, while others necessitate a visit to your doctor or to your Overland Park dentist.
How do you tell the difference? We can’t tell you when to go see your family doctor—check with them about that—but we can say that there’s no harm in calling your dentist’s office to ask a question anytime you have one. Still, we thought it wouldn’t hurt to address a few of the more common dental problems people encounter that should absolutely prompt a trip to the dentist’s office as soon as possible.
Tooth Pain – Tooth pain is never any fun, but sometimes it happens. A little tooth pain may not be a lasting problem, but if your pain persists for more than a day or two, it’s definitely time to call your dentist. Persistent pain can be a sign of severe problems or at least problems that will get worse if they aren’t treated. Many people experience increased tooth sensitivity during the winter months. This is usually not persistent pain, but rather sudden spikes of pain that come with drinking a cold beverage, eating ice cream, or even stepping outside when the weather is chilly. Fortunately, we’ve got some tips to help with that.
Difficulty Chewing – A variety of factors can influence difficulty chewing, and none of them are any good. Tooth decay or gum disease top the list, and both of those will get worse if they are left untreated. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can also lead to difficulty chewing and swallowing, and they should also be treated promptly. Besides the other risks associated with these conditions, not being able to properly chew your food can lead to digestive problems and even choking hazards.
Dry Mouth – This one may not seem as serious as the others on this list, but dry mouth can be a symptom of some pretty serious things. While dry mouth gets more likely as you get older and is a common side effect of many medications, it can also be caused by more troubling culprits. More to the point, dry mouth is dangerous, even when its causes are benign. Saliva is your mouth’s first line of defense, and if you aren’t producing enough of it, your teeth and gums are left vulnerable to tooth decay, gum disease, and more.
If you’re experiencing any of these problems, call your Overland Park dentist right away! Heck, it’s a good idea to call your dentist from time to time anyway. If nothing else, you should be seeing your dentist twice a year for your regular cleanings and check-ups. Of course, members of our friendly staff at Watts Family Dental are always happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have. Give us a call at (913) 338-3384!