While many dental maladies are accompanied by a certain amount of discomfort, there are some conditions where pain is absent, but a serious problem is brewing. Great dental health does not happen by accident; if you are brushing and flossing every day and visiting your dentist every six months, chances are you will never experience a dental problem without some kind of warning, but it is still possible.
The onset of gum disease is serious, and can happen over a period of time never causing one moment of discomfort. Plaque buildup is a major contributor to many dental problems; while plaque is forming and building on teeth, the patient may feel it forming as it hardens on teeth. It is the acids from plaque that begin to eat away at dental enamel or work its way beneath the gums. So while plaque is present, it usually doesn’t hurt until the damage has been done.
Decay – Once the enamel of the tooth has been breached, decay is imminent. It is the discomfort from nerve exposure that tells us we have a dental problem. But until that nerve feels pressure or is exposed to sweet, sour, hot, or cold you might not realize a problem is developing. Sensitivity or pain are generally next.
Gum Disease – This is a problem with many facets and degrees. In its earliest form, the patient may notice gums are bleeding; they have chronic bad breath; or they might notice gum recession is occurring. Although you may not be experiencing discomfort, left untreated, gum disease can develop rapidly and result in the possibility of tooth loss.
Dry Mouth – There are many reasons for a patient to experience a dry mouth … some are temporary such as taking an antihistamine for cold or allergy problems; however, if a dry mouth continues indefinitely, this can lead to decay and/or gum disease.
Oral Cancer – A suspicious mouth lesion should be checked out right away. But so many are not accompanied by pain until they have reached an advanced stage.
Patients that are vigilant about daily brushing and flossing and visit their dentist every six months (or as recommended) are much less likely to suffer from an unexpected problem. Watch for unusual conditions and if a change should occur in your oral health, schedule an appointment with our team at Norwalk Dental Care as soon as possible.