Don’t Let It Stop You In Your Tracks
One of the most innovative developments in automobiles is the tire pressure monitoring system that automatically lets you know your tire pressure. It’s very handy, of course, until you are following your child’s bus to his class field trip and get a slow leak that you anxiously watch drop one psi at a time between Fort Worth and San Antonio. Don’t worry, I made it just in time (with 20 psi to spare), but unfortunately in dentistry, our teeth and gums usually lack the ability to give us immediate warning signs to oncoming emergencies.
When making routine dental examinations, most patients are aware of the necessity to have their teeth cleaned, but it is also important that your teeth and gums are monitored for potential tooth or gum disease. Considering that even the most diligent dental patient is seen twice a year, a lot can occur within six months when it comes to oral health and catching it early can make all the difference.
When it comes to monitoring tooth decay, oftentimes the lesion is located in between the teeth, and only a dental radiograph will illustrate its presence. Small cavities on the chewing surfaces may initially appear as a stain unless checked by your dentist. Decay that is unchecked can grow resulting in a great loss of tooth structure or fracture. By the time a tooth begins to feel pain from extensive decay, it is likely close to the nerve requiring a root canal or extraction.
Gum health is also recorded during routine examinations. Periodontal disease is often called the silent dental disease, as it is unnoticeable if not monitored. Bacteria beneath the gums will cause inflammation that results in bone loss around the teeth that cannot be regained. Excessive bone loss could potentially lead to tooth loss.
Any of these conditions could quickly cause an unwanted and unexpected emergency. The best method to avoid a dental emergency is to be prepared and preventative. Make sure to keep up your home-care and don’t miss those essential dental appointments.