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An Ounce of Dental Prevention . . .

Many patients put off seeing a dentist for minor dental issues, often to avoid the expense and hassle of a visit for what may turn out to be a non-issue. While pain from minor injuries or tooth sensitivity can sometimes be handled at home, there are many dental issues that can turn into big, painful and pricey problems if not attended to right away. Dr. Alin Alkass recommends seeing your dentist for any of the following problems:

Pain

Pain is your body's indication that something is wrong. Anyone can have some temporary mouth pain from an abrasion, an injury, food lodged in the gums or a recent dental procedure. However, persistent pain, increasing pain or severe pain warrant a visit to the dentist.

Swelling

Swelling can indicate a serious problem, such as periodontal disease or a localized infection. Persistent, increasing or severe swelling should be treated as an urgent matter that needs professional evaluation.

Broken or Crumbling Teeth

Whether or not you experience pain, you should have any broken teeth checked out to ensure that there's no nerve damage, and to prevent injury to the inside of your mouth from the tooth's sharp edges. Crumbling teeth can indicate serious decay, so they also warrant a visit.

Discolored Teeth

Discolored teeth can mean more than the need for whitening treatments. Black, gray, dark yellow teeth can indicate infection and serious decay. If it is decay, the sooner you act, the easier it will be for the dentist to save the tooth.