Know The Signs of an Oral Health Problem
Going to the dentist regularly is one of the best ways to maintain good oral health. But between twice-a-year cleanings, how do you know if a dental problem is brewing? At Today’s Dentistry in Ashland, Dr. James Burneson and our team believe it’s imperative to learn the signs that indicate you have an oral health issue. We’re here to address these problems early and get your oral health back on track!
Watch Out For These Signs
From minor aches to sharp, shooting pains, any type of tooth pain is a major red flag. Toothaches can stem from issues like cavities, cracked teeth, or gum disease. Don’t ignore the discomfort and hope it goes away.
Tooth pain that comes and goes can indicate infection, which will only worsen without professional treatment. Schedule an exam so our Ashland dentist can determine the cause and recommend the appropriate treatment.
If you find yourself avoiding hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks, sensitive teeth may be to blame. Tooth sensitivity often occurs when gum recession exposes part of your tooth root. The dentin layer underneath your enamel contains tubes that lead directly to the nerve.
When these tubes are exposed, stimuli can trigger discomfort. Sensitive teeth may also result from cracked or chipped enamel. Schedule a dental visit at Today’s Dentistry to identify the cause of sensitivity and discuss options like specialized toothpaste or dental work to cover exposed areas.
Gradual changes in your tooth color can indicate issues like cavities or decay. Some culprits, like coffee, tea, and red wine, only cause surface stains that you can remove with brushing and professional cleanings. But significant discoloration, especially in one specific tooth, points to a real problem. Schedule an exam so your dentist can check for decay, infection, injury, or root canal issues.
Healthy gums fit tightly around teeth and do not bleed, even during vigorous brushing and flossing. If your gums are red, swollen, or bleed easily, you likely have some degree of gum disease.
Gingivitis, the early stage of the disease, occurs when plaque builds up below the gum line. Dr. James Burneson can remove plaque, recommend products for gum health, and monitor for continued issues. More advanced gum disease requires scaling, planing, or even surgery to resolve.
Bad breath, or halitosis, doesn’t always stem from oral hygiene issues. Postnasal drip, some medications, and certain health conditions can also cause bad breath. But when brushing, flossing, and mouthwash don’t solve the problem, it’s time to see a dentist.
Chronic bad breath can indicate periodontal disease. Dr. James Burneson can identify the source of bad breath through an oral exam and make appropriate treatment recommendations.
Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. With regular brushing and flossing, you can control plaque buildup and remove most of it daily. But if you see white or yellow deposits on your teeth, that plaque has been left long enough to calcify into tartar.
Only a dental professional can remove tartar. An excessive buildup points to holes in your oral care routine that your Ashland dentist can help you address.
Changes in Mouth Tissue
The tissues in your mouth, including your cheeks, gums, tongue, and palate, should appear smooth and pink. Red or white patches, sores, growths, or other abnormal changes may indicate issues like infections, illnesses, or even cancer.
Diagnosing and treating these issues quickly improves outcomes. Report any oral tissue changes or anomalies at your next dental visit to our Ashland dental office.
Difficulty Eating or Speaking
Unexplained difficulty eating or speaking clearly can have many causes. But when the source is oral health-related, like damaged teeth, tooth loss, or sores, a dentist should examine the situation. Difficulty chewing may indicate cracked teeth, loose crowns, or malocclusion.
Slurred speech could result from mouth sores, infections, or abscesses. A dentist can identify the specific issue and recommend solutions to restore your oral function.
Chipped or Broken Teeth
Small chips and cracks in your enamel often occur from everyday use. But if a large chunk of a tooth breaks off, immediate dental care is needed. See a dentist as soon as possible after a tooth fracture. The sooner it’s fixed, the better chance your dentist has of saving the tooth. Delaying treatment raises the risks of infection, air exposure, decay, and major tooth loss.
Full or Loose Fillings
Over time, dental fillings can weaken and become dislodged or fall out completely. This leaves a hole in your tooth vulnerable to decay. Even if a filling just feels loose but hasn’t fallen out, check with your dentist. Bacteria and food can still sneak under loose fillings and irritate your tooth. Getting them replaced now prevents more extensive repairs later.
Your teeth are meant to remain fixed in alignment throughout your life. So if you notice teeth shifting, crowding, or flaring out, see your dentist to discuss orthodontic solutions. Without intervention, misaligned teeth increase your decay and gum disease risk.
Catching orthodontic issues early makes them easier to resolve. An exam can determine if braces, retainers, or other treatments are warranted to correct your tooth alignment.
Explore Dental Treatments Today
Don’t ignore these common dental health issues. Schedule an appointment with your dentist right away by calling (541) 482-7771 if you experience any of these problems. Seeking treatment quickly prevents minor issues from turning into major, expensive, or irreversible dental damage.
With the right solutions from Dr. James Burneson at Today’s Dentistry in Ashland, you can get back on track with your oral health.