Top 4 not-so-minor dental problems you shouldn't ignore

December 16, 2015

Visit-a-dentist-if-you-experience-these-oral-issues_2020_40096793_0_14076309_650.jpgAvoiding the doctor's office is an unnerving trend among millennials. According to a ZocDoc survey, the majority of individuals born between 1980 and 2000 visit their physicians less than once each year. The tendency to self-diagnose and weather through the pain instead of visiting a professional is likely true for dental health, too. After all, the perception of cost savings is alluring. However, when it comes to oral health, ignoring seemingly small problems can be detrimental to your overall well-being and cost more money in the long run. Never ignore these oral care issues:

Tooth pain
When you feel an ache in your mouth, it's all too easy to swallow a pain reliever and go on with your day. However, when you take these medications, know that you're only masking the symptoms and allowing a potentially severe problem to develop. Remember, dental problems don't just go away - they get worse.

You might not mind the dull throbbing, but your body could be trying to tell you something important. You may have damaged a dental implant like a crown or filling, a problem only a dentist can fix. Additionally, your mouth pain could be a result of gum disease, which if left untreated, could cause your teeth to fall out.

Girl eating ice cream and experiencing sensitivity.
If you notice tooth sensitivity, call your dentist.

Cavity
Do you notice tooth pain when sipping on hot coffee or eating ice cream? This sensitivity may be a result of a cavity. Perhaps your dentist even noticed the tiny hole on your tooth at your last visit, and you just haven't scheduled an appointment to have it filled. The Mayo Clinic noted that when cavities are left untreated, they can result in tooth loss and pain so intense it will affect your everyday life, causing you to miss work or school.

Chipped tooth
While the tooth's protective enamel is the strongest part of your body, it can easily crack under the pressure of grinding teeth or a blow to the mouth. If you feel a sharp edge with your tongue or notice a chunk of your tooth is missing, visit the dentist immediately.

"These little sacs of pus can cause brain abscesses."

A cracked or chipped tooth takes away your dental defense (enamel) and exposes the inner layers of the teeth to bacteria. An infection such as this can lead to an abscess, which is a collection of pus in the center of the tooth. It's as bad as it sounds - beyond leading to tooth loss, bad breath and sensitivity, abscesses can also put your life at risk. According to the National Institutes of Health, these little sacs of pus can spread infections to the rest of your body, potentially causing brain abscesses, pneumonia and heart complications.

Wisdom teeth
If you're in your early 20s, it's very likely that you need to get your wisdom teeth removed if you haven't already. The only way you'll know is if you schedule an appointment with your dentist. Otherwise, you might end up with crowded and misaligned teeth, infections and chronic pain. Even worse, a cyst may form around wisdom teeth, according to Crest. Not only does the cyst destroy the tooth, but it can also lead to tumor growth that requires a serious surgical procedure to remove.

Instead of succumbing to the dangers of ignoring dental health issues, opt for low cost dental care with a dental discount card. A low monthly payment of about $10 gives you access to a network of credentialed dentists, and you'll receive cost savings on most standard and specialty treatments.

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