Most people complain about the rising cost of dental insurance, but they don’t take the time to keep their teeth clean. Obviously there’s a disconnect. If you want to lower your dental bills, start with what you can control.
When you get dental coverage from companies like Guardian Life, tooth pain isn’t such a big deal. You just go into the dentists, and it gets taken care of. But, when you don’t have insurance, you have to suffer with it.
Tooth pain isn’t something you can really ignore, either. It can be excruciating, and it can go from bad to worse, almost instantly. It doesn’t matter whether you’re suffering from tooth or jaw pain.
A toothache could be something as simple as a cavity — a hole in your tooth. It sounds bad, but it’s relatively simple and straightforward to fix. It could also be tooth decay, which is much more serious and can lead to a very serious infection if not treated. The pain might be the result of grinding your teeth, or periodontal disease. Oral pain you’re experience has to be checked out by a professional for diagnosis.
If your gums are inflamed or bleeding, get it checked out right away. The inflammation might be a sign of periodontal disease, gum disease, or something else entirely. Gums that look puffy or that are swollen out from the tooth line also need to be checked out. They could indicate that you have a serious infection. Untreated periodontal disease will cause your gums to pull back from your teeth, which exposes the roots, causes pain, and will eventually cause your teeth to fall out.
Tooth sensitivity isn’t something that most people should have to deal with, even though it’s a rather common condition. If you’re overly sensitive to hot and cold, it means the enamel has worn down on your teeth and the nerve is exposed. This exposure can cause your tooth to be very painful.
If you struggle with tooth sensitivity, see your dentist.
You Have Frequent Sores
If you get canker sores that won’t heal, or take a long time to heal, you may have a nutritional deficiency, or you may be exposing your mouth to excessive stress that causes the sore to rupture.
See your dentist for a diagnosis. Sometimes, the dentist can treat the sore using silver nitrate, which cauterizes it and causes it to heal up in a matter of a few days. Other times, you will be asked to change your diet, or include specific vitamin supplements. You may also need oral hardware or tooth extraction if the problem is a jaw alignment or tooth crowding problem.
You Get Headaches
Sometimes, tooth problems manifest themselves as serious problems, but sometimes the symptoms are rather benign if not annoying. Headaches are one such symptom. If you get headaches frequently, it might mean you’re grinding your teeth. It’s not something you want, so you should consider going to the dentist and getting a retainer that prevents this. It’s especially important if you grind your teeth in your sleep.
Usually, your dentist can tell just by looking at them if you’re a grinder, and can recommend several courses of action to help you.
You Have Dental Caries
The obvious result of neglecting your health is developing dental caries or tooth decay. Tooth decay is very serious and must be treated immediately by a dental professional. Without professional intervention, your problem will turn into a painful infection that will significantly diminish your quality of life.
And, it could kill you.
How? Many infections do not stay localized in the mouth. Over time, bacteria will make their way into your bloodstream. And, they can settle in other organs, like your heart or brain, where they can cause heart disease or a stroke. But, you might not die. If the infection damages your pancreas, you may only end up with diabetes.
Of course, a simply symptom may be that your teeth become very weak and loose. Neglected teeth can become brittle, too. And, you may end up with loose teeth that fall out over time. There may or may not be any pain associated with this process.
Even with loose teeth, you should go to the dentist right away to see what can be done. Most of the time, the dentist can help you restore at least some function. Full restoration of your dental health may not be possible, however. It all depends on how advanced the condition is.
Erin Talbot earns a living as a financial advisor. She loves to write about the things she learns in her work. Her articles are available on many financial websites.