Your teeth are essential for important reasons: they help you chew food so it’d be ready for digestion in your stomach, and a flashy smile can go a long way to appear friendly or attractive!
But sometimes, your teeth can cause unwanted pain when bacteria accumulate and feed on the excess sugar, causing plaques. Other times inflammation and gum disease from smoking or Vitamin C deficiency can cause your teeth to weaken and (in worse case scenarios) even fall!
If you’re worried about your teeth and experiencing pain, swollen/red gums, or significant plaques, it might be high time to see a dental professional.
So how can you go about contacting a reliable dental provider?
In this article, we’ll cover the signs you should watch out for before considering a dentist visit and the core factors you need to consider when finding a dentist.
So brace yourself and read on!
Why Contact a Dental Provider?
While the answer might be pretty obvious, many people postpone their dentist visits, thinking at-home remedies are enough to take care of issues.
Minor problems like acute toothaches can be solved by rinsing with salt, but how about constant aches that keep you up at night?
Or pain when you eat food?
Or inflamed gums that are cause for concern?
A dental provider can help you address concerns before your problem can worsen. After all, you wouldn’t want to pay for tooth surgeries when you can face the issue at its first stages, would you?
You’ll be able to save a significant amount PLUS you can get expert advice on how to prevent the problem, thereby averting any future concerns.
And if you’re searching for ways to tell if your teeth need urgent care, jump to the next section to find the tell-tale signs you have to look out for!
5 Tell-Tell Signs to Visit a Dental Provider
After staring at yourself and analyzing your teeth with a flashlight, you can get anxious if you find something wrong with your teeth.
But what are the signs you need to look out for when thinking about visiting a dental provider?
1. Severe Toothaches
If you always feel like your teeth are still aching – be it through a dull or sharp pain – it means it is a sign of some form of contamination. This can be due to bacteria that are targeting the nerve in the center of your teeth, which in turn accelerates the progress of your tooth decay.
You must visit your dentist soon as this pain persists in avoiding invasive treatments. When caught early on, you can save your teeth and get away with a simple filling.
2. Problems with Your Gums
The main signs of gum disease are tenderness, redness, swelling, or in severe cases, bleeding. Gum disease can result from several factors, including:
Plaque Buildup: the tar that builds and accumulates on your teeth because of bacteria feeding on food.
Prescription medications: some medications such as antihistamines, antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and pain relievers can lead to gum disease.
Hormonal Shifts in Women: As if having a period isn’t enough, if you’re a woman, you’re predisposed to having gum problems because of your hormones. During menstruation, the hormone progesterone can increase, which may cause swollen gums, the development of canker sores, and even bleeding gums.
This condition has been reported by several studies, such as this 2015 study, but it’s crucial to mention that it doesn’t happen to ALL women.
Family History: If your mother, father, or next of kin have problems with their teeth, you’re more likely to also suffer from similar ailments.
Nutritional Deficiencies: Minerals and vitamins are important for our health in many ways.
- Calcium, for example, while revered to be essential for bones, also plays a role in strengthening your teeth. So eating yogurt, almonds, sardines, and drinking milk are some ways you can get the calcium you need.
- Vitamin D: famously referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” is also beneficial for your teeth. According to the latest 2020 study, a deficiency in vitamin D can lead to cavities, gingival inflammation, and gum disease. Fortunately, Vitamin D supplements are easy to find. And eating foods like salmon, mackerel, and herring or fortified milk and cereals ensure you get the recommended dose.
- Vitamin C: Why did pirates have swollen gums and weak teeth? Believe it or not, one of the reasons was because of vitamin C deficiency! Vitamin C can help strengthen the connective tissue in your gums and keep them as healthy as possible, thereby preventing bleeding gums or gum disease. Citrus fruits pack a lot of Vitamin C, in addition to berries, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
3. Loose Teeth
A shift in teeth is often due to gum disease, where there’s bone loss that occurs without notice. You can feel your teeth become more wobbly once you touch them.
If you already have lost teeth, you might think that it’s not going to cause any problems.
But think again!
Missing teeth can harbor bacteria that can penetrate into your deeper tissues, reaching your blood vessels and causing infection. In such cases, implants can be a suitable solution.
And if you happen to live in South Florida, there are dental providers that offer dental implants, which can do the trick and prevent such occurrences!
4. Swollen Gums or Black Plaques from Smoking
The tobacco in a cigarette is not only bad for your lungs, but it can also damage your teeth in the long run.
Heavy smokers are more prone to develop gum disease. If you’re a frequent smoker and see that your gums are either swollen/red, or your teeth are getting blacker, it’s best to go for a checkup.
Ultimately, it’s recommended to quit smoking altogether to prevent any future long-term damage. There are many ways you can try quitting slowly, such as using patches, munching on small snacks like nuts or chewing gum whenever you feel an urge to smoke, and surrounding yourself with supportive people who have your back!
5. Your Teeth Are Affecting Your Daily Life
Whether you have problems with eating solid food or waking up at night because of an ache, if your teeth are affecting your life in a negative way, it’s time to have them checked by a professional.
Finding a Dental Provider Near You: Quick Checklist
After checking your teeth, you’re probably wondering how you can find a professional and reliable dental provider to consult.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- The Proximity of the Office: Regular checkups are a must, especially if you get diagnosed with an issue. So how close is the office to where you live?
- Dental Benefits and ADA membership: Another thing to look for is if the provider is included in the network through which you can receive dental benefits. If they’re part of the ADA American Dental Association, they’re more likely to receive up-to-date information about different dental problems and solutions.
- Launch Your Search: If you type dentist office on Google, it’s too broad. For more specific searches, there are tools like ADA’s Find a Dentist Tool which can narrow your search to dentists present in the association.
Alternatively, you can ask your relatives and friends for recommendations.
Finding a Dentist and Taking Care of Your Teeth
The road to optimal teeth health is paved with many brushes, flosses, and dentist visits.
To ensure you receive the best care, it’s important to dig deep and choose a dental provider that’s affordable, lives close, and has great people skills.
Remember to be your doctor at home by checking your teeth often and making sure there are no plaques, swollen or red gums, or perforated teeth.
So Good Luck, and Wish You a Healthy Smile!