Dentures are a reality for many Americans, and studies suggest that they will become increasingly common in the near future. The good news is that, with the proper attention and preventative care, you could avoid them altogether.
Watch for Warning Signs of Gum Disease
The biggest cause of tooth loss is gum disease, so it’s important that you watch out for the early warning signs, and take action to correct it as soon as the problem develops. If you develop any of the below symptoms, see your dental professional as soon as possible:
Red, Swollen, and Tender Gums
One of the most obvious symptoms of gum disease are red, swollen, and tender gums. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to bone loss, and eventually tooth loss. Luckily, these are all correctable issues if caught early enough. In the early stages of gum disease, treatment can be as simple as improved home dental care and a thorough cleaning at the dentist.
Loose, Shifting Teeth or Changes in Your Bite
If your teeth are shifting, or if you notice gaps widening between your teeth, it might be a sign of bone loss. If teeth are loose, the problem could be advanced gum disease, requiring extensive treatment and possibly loss of teeth. Catching the symptoms early is the best way to prevent additional damage.
Left unchecked, tooth decay can progress to the nerve in the center of the tooth, which can be extremely painful. If this is caught in the early stages, it can be corrected with a simple filling. If it is allowed to progress, treatment becomes much more invasive and costly, and can possibly involve the extraction of one or more teeth.
Losing teeth is particularly worrisome, because the loss of one or more teeth puts additional stress on the remaining teeth, causing them to decay much faster than normal. Patients who are missing one or more teeth should visit their dentist as soon possible to be fitted for replacement teeth.
Difficulty Eating Certain Foods
If you are having difficulty eating certain foods, especially hard or chewy food, this might indicate a problem. These problems could range from cracked or missing teeth to cavities or gum disease. As always, catching the issue early is the key to successful treatment.
Not all symptoms of gum disease, or other issues, show up in your mouth. Dental problems might cause you to be unable to chew properly, resulting in swallowing larger pieces of food. This could cause regular indigestion, and your dentist can diagnose the problem and come up with a plan to fix it.
Regular Dental Appointments
We all know that we’re supposed to visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and a thorough cleaning. Unfortunately our busy lives prevent many of us from keeping these appointments and the time between dental check-ups gets longer and longer.
While visiting the dentist twice a year might seem like a lot, these regular appointments are vital to ensuring healthy teeth. They allow your dentist to find and correct problems, such as gum disease and tooth decay, early and before they become too big. By keeping your twice-annual dental appointments you’re ensuring your natural teeth stay healthier, longer.
Skipping an appointment or two might seem harmless, but it can allow problems to take root and cause a lot of damage. Schedule your regular visit today!