When you've got a persistent toothache, you know to bring this up with your dentist because it's most likely the sign of a cavity, which is an easy enough fix. However, there are all kinds of other common dental problems that people tend to overlook or ignore. Unfortunately, these concerns can be the sign of major dental problems. So, the next time you're in for a teeth cleaning and your dentist asks you if you have any questions, here are a few things worth mentioning if they apply to you.
Frequent Bleeding When You Brush
Do you find that your gums bleed when you brush your teeth? Many people think it's normal, but it's really not. In fact, bleeding gums can be a symptom of gum disease, which can be cured if caught early enough. However, if you fail to bring up your bleeding gums and your dentist doesn't notice it during your cleaning, a basic gum disease such as gingivitis could progress to advanced periodontal disease, which has no cure and could eventually lead to tooth loss.
Jaw Pain When You Wake Up
Do you feel an unexplained pain in one side or in both sides of your jaw when you wake up? If so, then you might be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw while you sleep. The same goes if you wake up with pain on the insides of your cheeks. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding are easy enough to treat (usually, your dentist will simply give you a mouth guard to wear at night). However, if you fail to mention this, your grinding or clenching could eventually lead to cracked teeth and/or jaw problems.
Unusual Sores in Your Mouth
Do you get strange sores in your mouth that don't seem to heal properly or that take a very long time to heal? If so, then you need to bring this up to your dentist. While cold sores and canker sores are generally harmless enough and nothing to be concerned about, sores that don't heal properly can be a sign of oral cancer. Unless you mention them, your dentist might assume you simply have a canker sore or cold sore at your next appointment, so be sure to bring it up so the proper screenings can be done.
Make the most out of your dental checkups by asking the right questions and bringing up things that concern you. Ultimately, you'll be better off.