Famous last words! But, why is it that Dentists and Hygienists can find issues with your mouth if you feel perfectly fine?!
The answer is simply because by the time you are feel a twinge or a sharp pain, decay has usually progressed to a more serious level. By this time more damage has been done to the tooth and/or gums. I know you hear this from us all the time, but visiting us regularly is so important and can save you big $$ in the long run!
Your mouth is not the only place where pain is a sign that things have been brewing for a while. Think about heart attacks and strokes. If you see your Doctor regularly, these health problems may be avoided too.
What happens to your gums if you don’t have your regular professional cleans? No pain, right?! Just take a look at what all that hardened plaque does to your gums over time…
Plaques Effect on Your Teeth
Yes, you brush your teeth thoroughly at home, twice a day and even floss, but the reality is, we are human, we miss spots and our toothbrush is just not strong enough to remove plaque that has become hard or the plaque that is hidden below the gumline. This is not an excuse to go out and purchase a hard bristle toothbrush! All these toothbrushes will do is scratch away at your tooth enamel and cause sensitivity if enough enamel is removed! And, yes, this is irreversible damage.
As plaque builds up on your teeth, it pushes your gum away from the base of your tooth. The longer the plaque is left there, the further it burrows down (taking 1000s of nasty bacteria with it). You can see from the picture above, under the gum is bone. The bacteria does not stop here, it will continue to eat away at the bone. You can also see in the picture that the bone is holding the tooth in place….no bone, no tooth! Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth lose, not decay, as many people think!
Just as gum disease can be painless, so too can decay. Think of when you cut yourself. The deeper the wound, the more it hurts/throbs. The same happens with your teeth. As decay begins, you may feel nothing. But as it gets deeper and deeper it penetrates the more sensitive parts of your tooth and that is when the pain begins. If the decay hits the nerve buried deep within your tooth, you will more than likely know about it.
However, teeth, like your health, can sometimes be unpredictable and it is possible for the nerve within the tooth to die (painlessly) and if this happens, decay is free to spread through your tooth without you even knowing! Sometimes you can see that the appearance of your teeth changing. Perhaps the colour is darkening or you see cracks or breaks. Either way, these things don’t happen overnight. Seeing your Dentist regularly can avoid these issues from progressing and costing you an arm and a leg.