You know going to the dentist is an important part of maintaining a healthy mouth and body, but how often do you actually schedule your dental cleanings and x-rays? If it’s been more than a year since your last appointment, you’re not alone. Many people wait until they notice changes in their oral health such as bleeding gums, loose teeth or pain. Ideally, seeing one of our dentists in Las Vegas two to three times a year will keep your mouth in great shape, but neglecting your teeth and gums by not brushing or avoiding the dentist could have you scheduling a last-minute appointment for one of these reasons:
1. Loose or Missing Teeth
Loose teeth can be a sign of one or more problems including a face or jaw injury, consistent tooth grinding or gum disease. If the tooth is loose, there are ways our dentist can treat it to make sure you don’t lose the tooth. Tooth splinting is one option, which bonds the loose tooth to an adjacent one to help stabilize, strengthen and tighten it. A mouth guard can prevent further tooth grinding or clenching to allow your tooth to solve the problem naturally. However, if gum disease is to blame, you’ll need periodontal treatment to remove the bacteria collecting in pockets between your gums and teeth. This helps your gums get stronger and become healthy again.
If you have one or more missing teeth, it’s vital you schedule an appointment at our Las Vegas office. Missing teeth lead to a host of other problems that inevitably will cause you to losing more teeth. Without the stimulation from biting and chewing, that area of your jaw bone will degrade, leading to a change in facial shape and shifting teeth. Dental implants can restore the function and stop jawbone recession. They can also give you a beautiful, natural-looking smile.
You can lose a tooth due to gum disease, a facial injury or other causes. A tooth lost due to injury can be saved and placed back in the mouth in some circumstances.
2. Crooked, Gapped, Overcrowded Teeth
Orthodontics such as Invisalign® Clear Braces or traditional braces are often done during your early teens, but many adults struggle with misaligned teeth, which causes embarrassment and discomfort. It’s important to straighten your teeth to maximize your oral health. Crooked or overcrowded teeth may harbor higher amounts of bacteria and can be difficult to clean properly. Studies have also shown that misaligned teeth make a lasting impression and can have a negative impact on your social life and prevent you from advancing at work.
3. Discolored Teeth
Teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dentistry treatments. Your smile is one of the first things someone notices when they meet you for the first time, and a bright, white smile can mean the difference between landing your dream job or a second date and going home early. Over the counter (OTC) whitening products, especially toothpaste, do little to improve the discoloration of your teeth, which can be caused by drinking dark-colored liquids such as red wine, coffee and tea, taking certain medications, tobacco use and more. These OTC products may contain too little or too much whitening agent that provides no whitening action or damages your tooth enamel. We offer in-office treatments with Zoom! Teeth Whitening and at-home whitening kits that are customized to fit your teeth.
4. An Embarrassing Smile
If you’re embarrassed by your smile, it’s time to do something about it. With so many cosmetic dentistry options at your fingertips to improve your smile, you don’t need to be self-conscious of your teeth anymore. Whether you have missing, discolored or crooked teeth or an overly gummy smile, there are ways to improve the appearance of your teeth and gums so you can smile proudly.
5. Tooth Pain
Tooth pain is an indicator that something is wrong. It could be caused by any number of problems, but often it’s a sign of tooth decay or gum recession. Sharp tooth pain when you chew or bite into food may mean a filling, crown or another piece of dental work has been damaged and needs to be repaired. Tooth decay can reach deep into your tooth and enter the nerve, causing near constant pain. You may need a root canal to address the issue. Tooth pain could also be a warning sign of an abscessed tooth, which can cause severe side effects and spread through your body. Do not ignore tooth pain. The sooner we identify the problem, the sooner you can enjoy a healthy, pain-free mouth.
6. Headaches and Jaw Pain
(TMD) are caused by misalignment or dysfunction of the jaw joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. The symptoms can be painful such as headaches, jaw pain, lockjaw, ringing in the ears, difficulty chewing and much more. Headaches are a common sign of TMD and can be misdiagnosed as tension-related headaches. Our dentists specialize in TMD and offer treatments such as customized mouth guards, braces to correct misalignment and oral surgery.
7. Facial Swelling
Facial swelling is typically accompanied by other issues such as tooth pain and headaches. They may be warning you of tooth infection, advanced gum disease, incoming wisdom teeth, among others. Sometimes, the answer is a quick fix, while others may require surgical intervention. Don’t ignore swelling in your cheeks or overall face. Our dentists can determine the cause and come up with a safe, effective treatment to reduce the swelling and any accompanying pain.
8. Bleeding Gums
A certain degree of bleeding gums is normal such as sensitivity when you first start flossing, but consistent bleeding and irritation is likely due to gum disease, which can easily worsen if left untreated. Without proper dental hygiene (brushing twice and flossing once a day) and regular dental exams, plaque builds up and releases bacteria, causing gum irritation. As gum disease progresses, this bacteria makes your gums detach from your teeth, creating pockets for the bacteria and the eventual release of this bacteria into your blood stream. Gum disease has been linked to severe health concerns such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
9. Spots or Sores in the Mouth
Spots or sores in your mouth may be nothing to worry about, but they could also be an indicator of oral cancer. Cold sores and canker sores are common and typically heal on their own. Tobacco use, poorly-fitting oral appliances or dentures can also cause some irritation and spots. Regardless of how small a sore or spot might be, it’s important to schedule an exam with one of our dentists to make sure your mouth is healthy. The early onset of oral cancer can be effectively treated and cured, which is why regular dental exams are essential.
10. A Long Overdue Checkup
Some men and women wait years between dental cleanings and checkups and schedule an overdue exam due to worsening pain or discoloration. No matter how long it’s been since your last visit, scheduling your appointment today could save you a lot of hassle in the future, especially if you use tobacco and have a history of oral cancer in your family.
Contact Drs. Chin in Las Vegas today at (702) 445-7075 to book your dental exam or cosmetic dentistry consultation. We serve clients in Summerlin, Henderson and nearby Las Vegas, Nevada areas.