You have to admit that you’re lucky if you ever saw your dentist’s office at least once a year. If there’s one thing we usually take for granted, it’s our teeth. Unless there’s obvious, jarring pain, we never really think to have our teeth cleaned or checked out.
The worst nightmare possible is the inability to open your mouth all of a sudden, and your jaw locking because of an impacted wisdom tooth. Wisdom teeth removal in Taylorsville, Utah, is available in most dentists clinics, and unless it’s covered by your healthcare plan, prepare to shell out up to $800 to get it done.
But hit the brakes; before you start thinking about impacted wisdom teeth or needing a root canal, some toothaches are minor at best. Here are four reasons why you probably need to see your dentist if a tooth or gums start to ache.
It’s a simple cavity problem
Sometimes, all it takes is chewing on the wrong food or biting something the wrong way to get that painful, annoying feeling on your tooth. It makes you cringe, and you can’t help but wonder if you’ve finally chipped a tooth. Don’t worry too much just yet; it could be a cavity that’s been there for a long time and can be taken care of easily through cleanings (dental prophylaxis).
It’s highly recommended to get your teeth cleaned at least once a year, and twice if you’re a smoker. It helps prevent tartar, plaque, and cavity buildup, and gives you some peace of mind that your teeth are in good shape. Much like your annual physical checkups, your teeth shouldn’t be forgotten.
Get your gums checked, too
If your gums start to bleed persistently (unless you’re brushing your teeth way too hard) and you have a hard time chewing, then it’s high time you get your gums checked as well. If your family has a history of gum disease, it’s something you need to consider and take seriously.
This is one reason why getting your teeth cleaned regularly is key. Gum disease happens when there’s a buildup of tartar that eventually penetrates the tissues in your gums. And until this is fixed, it continues to break down the gums until it reaches your bone and the tissue that holds your gums and teeth together degenerates. This disease is widely known as gingivitis and can cause major complications if left untreated.
Have your dentist perform a dental X-Ray
If you can’t open your mouth any longer and there’s searing pain on your jaw, it could be that your wisdom teeth are impacted and have reached a point where they’ve grown well into your jawline. This requires an immediate visit to your dentist, as they need to get an X-Ray of your mouth to determine how impacted the teeth are, and if you can have the surgery in increments.
Because wisdom teeth extraction is expensive and can reach up to $800, you can opt to have the most “serious” tooth removed first, so you don’t need to worry about the rest just yet. One thing to remember: have someone else drive you back home because once the anesthesia wears off, it will be very unsafe to drive while you’re in pain.
Getting a Root Canal
There are several signs that you might need to get a root canal instead: severe pain and teeth discoloration or darkening, among other things. Root canal procedures are basically your last attempts to save an extremely decayed tooth, which is again why prevention is better than cure to help avoid this.
Imagine your dentist drilling through your tooth and cleaning the inside—that’s basically what a root canal is. The procedure itself is not daunting, as anesthesia is administered, but the experience leading up to the procedure is very uncomfortable and painful.
Don’t wait until the first sign of pain to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Get yourself checked at least once a year to make sure that your teeth are in good condition. The more complicated the procedures you need to get done, the more expensive it will be in the long run.