When we ask you how you are, we don’t always want to hear “just fine, thanks.” We’re interested in how your mouth and jaw are feeling. Are you experiencing toothaches or jaw pain? Any tenderness or bleeding? Any sores?
Sharing these painful symptoms when you’re visiting a dentist is actually a good thing; none of them are fun to experience but they can provide a starting point for a dentist to examine, rather than letting him or her probe and possibly cause additional pain.
A dental visit is the time for patients to ask questions about their dental health, and for dental professionals to provide answers, take a closer look at teeth, gums and surrounding tissue, assess the current condition, and if needed, create a treatment plan. It can also be a time to learn better habits so future care visits will be more positive.
Whether it’s your first dental visit or you have been going regularly to a Colorado Springs dentist, questions we like to hear, and answer include:
- Why does my jaw hurt? Perhaps a sinus infection is putting pressure on your nasal passages and causing pain. Or it could be a condition called Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD, which is irritation or injury of the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. The joint allows motion in every direction, and helps with talking, yawning, and chewing. Sometimes the muscles can be stretched, strained or injured, which can cause intense pain.
- Why does my head hurt? TMJ and other oral health conditions may also cause chronic headaches or migraines. This could be anything from a sore tooth to pain from chewing. Sometimes, initial pain may start in the head, hurt the jaw, and increase the head pain.
- Why am I sleeping poorly? Feeling fatigued may also be connected to your oral health, such as a condition called sleep apnea where your airway is obstructed when you sleep and you wake repeatedly and snore. Mouth guards, which open the airway, are one option to help this serious condition.
- Why do I have sores? This could be due to sensitivity or allergies to certain foods, trauma or stress.
- Why do some foods make my mouth feel funny? Strong reactions to hot, cold or sweet may signal problems with teeth or gums, or other sensitivities.
- What do mouth guards do? Some mouth guards are designed to reduce the risk of sleep apnea, others can cut down on teeth grinding, another serious, damaging condition.
Don’t feel like these are the only questions to ask the dentist? We love hearing any and all of your questions and are at HollowBrook Dental to answer yours.