Beyond Tooth Pain: Other Signs You Should See A Dentist

Posted on: 12 September 2022

Most people know to go to the dentist if a tooth hurts. But tooth pain is far from the only sign of dental problems. In fact, if you wait to experience tooth pain, you have often waited longer than necessary to seek dental care. Here are some other, often more subtle, signs you should see a dentist. 

You often have bad breath

Everyone has bad breath when they wake up in the morning, but it should go away when you brush your teeth. If you have bad breath in spite of having brushed your teeth, that's a sign something more sinister is going on. You could have gum disease, in which case the odor is coming from bacteria attacking your gums. You could also have a cavity, in which case the odor is coming from bacteria in the cavity. Both of these issues warrant a visit to the dentist. With treatment, bad breath from either a cavity or gum disease will go away.

You have a spot on a tooth

Do you see a dark spot on one or more of your teeth? This is a sign of a cavity. Some people assume that if their tooth does not hurt, the cavity is not bad enough to seek care yet — but that is not the case. If there's a spot, the cavity should be drilled and filled ASAP, preferably before you feel any discomfort. 

Your jaw hurts

Do you have pain in your jaw, likely in the area under your ear? This is a common place to feel pain and soreness. This pain is often due to inflammation and irritation of the TMJ, or temporomandibular joint. A dentist can address TMJ pain by adjusting your bite, or in some cases, creating a mouth guard for you to wear at night. TMJ can be quite a nuisance, so take action sooner rather than later.

A tooth seems loose or like it is moving

If one of your teeth seems like it is wiggling, or like it has shifted, this is another reason to see a dentist in the area. Wiggling teeth can be caused by loose or damaged periodontal ligaments, which are sometimes the result of gum disease. A dentist will figure out what's going on and recommend treatments that should allow you to keep the tooth.

Tooth pain is a reason to see a dentist, but only one reason. Reach out to a general dentistry clinic for more information.