“If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”
A common expression, but one that has no place in matters of your oral health. We always encourage our patients to schedule a full dental checkup and cleaning for once every six months, regardless of whether they have any complaints or discomfort. Preventive care is one of your best bets for protection against serious health problems that might otherwise go undetected.
Early Detection Saves Teeth (and Lives)
Some of the most harmful oral health problems cause virtually no pain in their earliest stages. Periodontal disease, the number one cause of adult tooth loss, begins with painless symptoms, including bleeding gums, bad breath, and swollen, inflamed gum tissue. The longer the infection goes untreated, the greater your risk for tooth loss and bone loss in the jaw. Far more dangerous is oral cancer–affecting the mouth, tongue, lips, and inner cheek–which has a death rate greater than that of cervical, testicular, and skin cancers. Symptoms do not generally cause discomfort and can include chronic mouth sores, patches of red or white tissue within the mouth, and tumors.
Catch It Now, Not Later
It is best to notify your dentist immediately if you experience any type of discomfort whatsoever, no matter how mild or sporadic. Sometimes what begins as a twinge of pain escalates into a more severe problem, resulting in the need for expensive, time-consuming restorative dental treatments. For example, a small hole in your tooth can spread quickly, even to the point where a filling alone is no longer sufficient. In that case, you will need a dental crown.
A minor pain in one tooth could indicate that an infection is developing deep within. If the infection continues to spread to the nerves and tissue in your tooth, you might need a root canal treatment. This involves removing the affected tissue, sealing the tooth, and restoring it with a dental crown. If the infection runs rampant, not even root canal therapy may be sufficient. This would call for something more dramatic, such as an extraction.
About Your Shrewsbury Dentists
To learn more about our services, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact our Shrewsbury, MA dentist office at (508) 842-8838. We welcome residents of Shrewsbury, Boylston, North and South Grafton, Milford, and the surrounding communities.