It’s easy to dismiss small dental discomforts like the occasional bleeding gum, especially if the problem goes away quickly. It can’t be a big deal, right? You’re tough, and no one wants to keep track of every little toothache.
But your dentist only sees you a few times a year, and even seemingly insignificant changes can be the sign of an underlying problem. Telling your dental team about your experiences can help them know what areas of your oral health to evaluate more closely — and coupled with a thorough routine exam, this information can help us address potential issues before they cause further complications.
Here are six things you should always mention to your dentist.
1) Any pain or discomfort
No tooth, gum, or jaw discomfort is too small to mention to your dental team. Pain is a helpful tool for diagnosing problems — and you deserve to be able to eat, talk, and smile comfortably.
You should always let your dentist know if you’ve been experiencing any sort of pain, even if it’s nothing more than a slight annoyance. What starts small often grows bigger, so the sooner you let us know, the sooner we can help get you back to normal!
2) Bad breath
The occasional bout of bad breath is perfectly normal, especially after eating certain foods. If you start noticing it more frequently than usual, though, it could be the sign of an underlying bacterial imbalance in your mouth.
Make sure to let your dentist know about any changes in your breath, and don’t be embarrassed — we’ve seen it all! We’re here to help.
3) Clicking or popping in your jaw
If you experience any clicking or popping in your jaw when you open your mouth to yawn or chew, you could have a developing TMJ disorder. This means that the hinge that connects your upper and lower jaws — called the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ — isn’t working properly.
TMJ is extremely common and usually easy to treat. We might recommend a custom mouthguard or a range of at-home treatments, like ice packs or gentle stretches.
4) Changes in your medications
Your oral health and your overall wellbeing are closely linked. Both prescription drugs and natural supplements can affect your teeth — some cause side effects like dry mouth, while others alter the way your body metabolizes nutrients.
You should always tell your dentist about any changes to your daily medication regimen, even if it’s as simple as adding a probiotic or multivitamin. This additional context helps us create the best treatment plan to keep your smile healthy.
5) Cosmetic concerns
You aren’t alone if you’re not happy with your teeth — seven out of every ten Americans say they’re self-conscious about their smile. As orthodontic treatment becomes more accessible, you don’t have to settle for hiding your laughter behind your hand anymore.
Don’t hesitate to let your dental team know that you’re interested in exploring cosmetic options. From teeth-straightening braces and Invisible aligners to enamel-safe whitening programs and more, we’ll help you create a smile you love. We want to see you show it to the world!
6) Fear or unease
It’s perfectly normal to be a little uneasy about going into the dentist. Most people don’t enjoy having someone poking and prodding around in their mouth — we understand!
If anything makes you anxious during your appointment or you have any special requests that would make your experience more enjoyable, make sure to let your dental team know. Above all else, we’re committed to our patients’ comfort. We’re happy to work with you to develop a treatment plan you’re comfortable with.
Get in touch today to see how our compassionate team of dentists can make your next dental visit stress free.