Other than your regular dental exams and cleanings, when should you see a dentist?
If you have a toothache.
Any tooth pain should be investigated by your dentist. It could be a sign of an infection, a broken tooth or a cavity. By acting quickly and seeing your dentist, he or she can diagnose your problem and help treat it before the pain and the problem get worse. Dr. Moreau and Dr. Martin always make room in their schedules to accommodate emergency patients. If you are in pain, call us today so we can see you right away.
If you notice swelling or a lump.
A new swelling may be a sign of an infection. A lump could be related to an infection or could be a sign of cancer. It is important to have these looked at by one of our dentists or your family doctor. Most of the time, these lumps and bumps are signs of infection and need to be addressed before the infection gets worse. In the rare chance that it is a sign of cancer, you want to have it diagnosed as soon as possible to be able to have it treated quickly. There are other reasons for swellings or lumps to appear in your mouth, head or neck area and having them checked out by a dentist or physician is always recommended.
If you notice a tooth has gotten loose.
Loose teeth can be a sign of progressing gum disease (periodontitis), infection, trauma or oral cancer. Any looseness should be looked at by one of our dentists so it can be treated. A tooth that is loose can fall out if the cause is left untreated. Oral cancer and infection can spread to affect other teeth, the bones of your face and into soft tissues. An infection or cancer left untreated could be life threatening. Gum disease can be managed with routine dental cleanings. Most loose teeth can be treated so call us today to have Dr. Moreau have a look at it and come up with a treatment plan for you.
If your gums start to bleed.
Bleeding gums can be a sign of gum disease, a nutritional deficiency or infection. If you notice your gums bleeding when you eat or floss, call us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Moreau. Your mouth should not be bleeding so don’t let it go unchecked.
If you notice a white, red or other coloured area in your mouth.
Changes in the colour or texture of the soft tissues in your mouth can be a sign of infection or cancer. Dr. Moreau and Dr. Martin will have a look at the area for you and if necessary, send you for a biopsy. It is always better to be safe then sorry with any change in your mouth.
If you break a tooth.
A broken tooth could be from trauma, a weak tooth that broke down over time or a cavity. Even if your broken tooth doesn’t hurt, it is important to have it looked at as it may be the first sign of a bigger problem. Most broken teeth can be fixed by either a filling or a crown, but sometimes they need to be extracted. Dr. Moreau or Dr. Martin can have a look at your broken tooth and give you your options. Chances are they will want an x-ray of the tooth to assess the damage and that can be done when we see you. By addressing the broken tooth early, hopefully it can be easily fixed.
If you notice a dark spot on your tooth.
A dark spot on one of your teeth could be a cavity forming or some stain that is collecting in the tooth surface. It is always best to have one of our dentists check it out so that if it is a cavity, it can be fixed before it starts to cause you pain.
If you lose a filling.
A lost filling may be simply that, a filling that was lost, or it could be a sign of something more serious going on. If you lose a filling, even if you think it is no big deal, call to schedule an appointment. It could be a sign of a cavity or fracture that should be addressed sooner than later. Even if it is just a lost filling, a lost filling puts your tooth at higher risk of developing a new cavity as the now exposed area of your tooth is more porous then the outer enamel and harder for you to keep clean. Drs. Moreau & Martin will likely recommend the filling be replaced so you can avoid a cavity forming there.
Any trauma to your teeth or mouth.
If you are in an accident or have any other source of trauma to your teeth or your mouth, you should be seen by a dentist, even if you do not see any damage. Having x-rays and an exam done on the affected area gives your dentist a baseline in case something happens in the future due to the trauma and helps them diagnose problems that you may not be able to see from the trauma but that they can. A bit of extra attention after a trauma can help prevent pain and problems in the future.
Overall, if something in your mouth changes, or it doesn’t feel right, you should schedule an appointment to have it checked out. Dr. Moreau always says that it is better to have something checked out and it be nothing, then to ignore something and it be serious. So if something doesn’t feel right, let us know and we will schedule you an appointment as soon as we can.