Much of dentistry’s advancement has focused on improving early detection, which can drastically increase your chances of successful, noninvasive treatment. For instance, digital x-rays provide clearer, more concise images than traditional X-ray film and allow for much earlier detection of pathological changes that could signal disease. However, good old fashioned diligence can still play a vital role in maintaining your oral health. San Diego periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania, explains a few of the signs that can warn you of impending danger, but that you might miss if you’re not careful.
Early Detection at Home
Sensitive and/or loose teeth
Sudden, intense toothaches may leave little doubt that your tooth is in trouble, but what about the dull ache that comes and goes at times, sometimes barely even bothering you? Tooth sensitivity can occur for a number of reasons and to varying degrees, such as when gum recession exposes your tooth’s roots. If ignored, receding gums can become significant defects, and can erode your tooth’s foundational support. If you don’t notice that your tooth hurts or is loose, or if you ignore the warnings, then your tooth is on the path to be lost.
Before gum disease takes one or more of your teeth, it begins with a small bacterial infection called gingivitis. When oral bacteria form plaque and accumulate along your gum line, some of them cause irritation and inflammation that can damage your periodontal tissue (gums), causing them to swell and sometimes bleed. If you notice a little pink in your sink when you brush your teeth (and your toothpaste isn’t pink or red), then visit Dr. Kania as soon as possible to help stave off the onset of gum disease.
Clenching and grinding your teeth is a natural reaction when you’re tense, angry, and upset. Doing so consistently, however, is a habit called bruxism, and it can destroy your teeth and gums if allowed to continue unabated. Your healthy teeth and gums are strong, but they were not designed to withstand the constant barrage of pressure that bruxism places them under, and in time, your teeth can become sensitive from enamel wear or crack under the pressure. Bruxism may manifest itself at night, making detection difficult, but if you notice that your teeth or jaw joints feel sensitive, then grinding may be a problem.
Seek the Expertise of Your San Diego Periodontist
Aside from brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist, be sure to keep an eye out for what your smile might be telling you. To learn more about the importance of early detection in your effective periodontal care, contact Dr. Kania at our San Diego periodontist’s office by calling (706) 642-0711. Located in the 92024 area, we proudly serve patients from Encinitas, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Costa, and the neighboring communities.