Every adult should see a dentist on a regular basis for a proper check-up and X-rays and to get a thorough cleaning of their teeth. Most adults put off seeing a dentist for as long as possible, and they may not understand how some seemingly small problems can lead to severe issues with their oral health down the road. Note a few issues with your teeth and gums that may seem minor but which should warrant a trip to the dentist's office as soon as possible.
1. Cracks in the teeth
Some cracks in the teeth are so small that you may have a problem even seeing them, but they should not be overlooked. When a tooth is cracked, it doesn't just heal itself, and this crack then compromises the strength of the tooth. It can crack more severely and even chip once it becomes weak. A crack in the tooth can also mean a hiding place for germs and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. A dentist can typically fill in a crack very quickly and easily using a bonding material or other such putty that dries and hardens and looks just like your real tooth.
2. Sores and spots
A canker sore is a type of ulcer that forms in the mouth and it can appear to be white or grey; it's usually only painful when touched and may clear up in a few days. However, other sores and unexplained spots in the mouth should be checked by a dentist as soon as possible. Unless you know you've bitten inside of your cheek or have scraped it on something, don't ignore sores and spots inside your mouth. These could be oral cancer or an oral infection, both of which should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible.
3. A locked or overly stiff jaw
When you hear cracking every time you open your mouth or feel that your jaw is overly stiff, and if this problem doesn't clear up within a day or two, see a dentist. Your upper and lower jaw may be out of alignment so that they don't support each other as they should, and in turn, the muscles get overworked and stiff. This could also be a sign of tetanus, a bacterial disease that affects the muscles and nerves and which often locks the jaw. No matter the cause, if the stiffness is severe or doesn't clear up quickly, visit your dentist as soon as possible.
Some dentists, like with Mandurah Dental Surgery, offer 24-hour care in case an emergency does arise, so don't put off seeing a dentist just because it's night-time.