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Oral health begins at home, daily attention to brushing, flossing, using a mouthwash to reduce bacteria, and of course, keeping up with dental cleanings. But, what happens if you experience dental problems in between visits. What are some signs that you may need to see your dentist?

Headaches

Morning headaches are often caused by nighttime teeth grinding. Also known as bruxism, this is where you grind your teeth while you sleep, which can wear down tooth enamel if left unchecked. You may need a night guard (a mouth guard worn at night) to protect your teeth against erosion or cracks (as well as headaches).

Gum Inflammation

Chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and the surrounding tissue is a sign of gum disease, or gingivitis. Swollen or inflamed gums are the early signs of gum disease. Left untreated, it is the major cause of tooth loss in adults.

Tooth Sensitivity (Hot vs. Cold)

If your teeth hurt whenever you eat or drink something hot or cold, you may have a cavity, or even gum recession, which allows the sensitive layer of dentin under the enamel to be exposed.

White Spots

White spots on your tooth enamel are actually early signs of dental decay. You may have a cavity even if you don’t feel pain or show any symptoms.

Toothache

Tooth pain that doesn’t go away indicates that you may have a cavity. This is a hole in the tooth that may reach the tooth pulp, where the nerves may be exposed, causing pain.

Canker Sores

Ulcers in the mouth, or canker sores, have a variety of triggers ranging from emotional stress, allergic reactions, or injury, and typically go away on their own. If they persist or are unusually large, this may indicate something more serious.

Tartar

Tartar is the hard, white-looking mineralization that occurs at the gum line, where the teeth meet the gums. Tartar is hardened bacterial plaque which requires removal by a dental professional using scaling tools.

Halitosis

Prolonged bad breath, or a “metallic” taste in the mouth is caused by bacteria in the mouth and can be an indication of gingivitis, the early stages of gum disease.

If you are experiencing any of these signs, don’t brush them off! Prevention is key, but early intervention is also important. If you would like to schedule a visit with our dentist to help restore your healthy smile, please call the team of Dr. Mark Osenieks, DDS, PC in Grand Rapids, Michigan at (616) 453-0002 today.