Have you noticed a change in your mouth and are unsure of how to proceed in identifying its cause? Although your dentist is best qualified to assess and diagnose your symptoms, it can be useful to know what to watch for. Here are some dental symptoms and what they could mean for your oral health.
Have you noticed that some of your teeth are shifting or drifting out of their regular placement? Whether with or without other symptoms, it’s time to get to the dentist. If it’s been a while since you’ve attended your dentist’s office for a professional cleaning and checkup, you could be developing a concern beneath the surface of the gums that requires immediate action to rectify.
One cause of shifting teeth could be what is known as a dentigerous cyst. Although it is unknown exactly what causes these cysts to form, the danger they present is considerable. These cysts are typically asymptomatic, meaning that they don’t often come with symptoms that are immediately evident like pain or pressure. Left to increase in size, however, these cysts can erode the bone and root systems surrounding them and lead to significant damage. The cysts begin as small formations that fill with fluid and expand over time. As they expand, they can push neighbouring teeth out of the way, damaging them in the process. If you think that your teeth may be shifting, your dentist will likely begin with a digital X-ray to provide visual confirmation of what is happening beneath the gum line. These cysts must be removed in order to keep them from progressing, so don’t delay that call to your dentist.
Have you ever felt discomfort in your mouth and taken to a mirror to help you diagnose the source of the problem? If upon lifting away your lip or cheek you reveal what looks like a pimple on your gums that is either weeping or full of white pus, you have discovered a pustule. Pustules are indications of deep infection in the gums around the tooth. They often develop at the tips of the tooth’s root and require intervention right away to prevent worsening of the condition. Any infection of the mouth is critical to treat right away, since infections that are not contained and managed risk accessing the blood stream by the tooth’s inner blood supply and this can result in a serious systemic health concern.
If you have developed a pustule, call your dental clinic right away for guidance on how to manage it. Tell them that you require an emergency dental appointment and proceed to the next available clinic if your regular clinic is not able to accommodate your needs in a reasonable timeframe. Over the counter pain killers may not be sufficient to decrease the discomfort, so we recommend reaching for an ice pack or rinsing the mouth with ice water to decrease the inflammation while you wait to be seen by a dentist. Do not apply heat to a mouth that is showing signs of infection. Heat will draw blood into the area and increase the severity of the pain.
Your dentist will likely recommend a root canal in order to be able to keep the infected tooth. Root canal therapy is a commonly offered service which can be safely offered under local anesthetic. You will likely be prescribed antibiotics, also, to treat the infection and ensure that is it effectively eliminated. Always take all of the antibiotics prescribed to you and use reminders to ensure that you take them at the recommended intervals for maximum effectiveness.
A Sour or Bitter Taste
If you are experiencing some discomfort in the mouth and find that you can taste a metallic, bitter or sour taste coming from the source of the discomfort, this is another sign that you are dealing with an infection in the mouth. Although you may not see a pustule, the infection can cause fluid to weep from between the tooth and the gum. If this infection is not treated, you risk the possibility of a systemic infection which should be avoided at all cost.
As with all signs of infection, we recommend a call to your local dentist as soon as possible for an emergency appointment. Your dentist will diagnose the cause of the infection and identify the best way to proceed. This could involve a procedure, medication or both. Either way, if you are experiencing symptoms of infection it is likely that you are in significant discomfort and your dentist’s intervention will provide much needed relief. Again, avoid exposing the infection to heat and opt instead for ice water, a cold pack on the outside of the mouth, or both.
Seeing your dentist as soon as you know there is a problem is critical to decrease the likelihood of requiring more invasive corrective measures, so don’t put off until tomorrow what should be seen today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]