Think about how many times per day you rely on your teeth. You use them to chew breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You press your tongue against them to make certain sounds when you speak. There's really no doubt about it — your teeth are important, and they deserve your respect. You can pay them that respect by visiting your dentist for regular cleaning and checkup appointments. You should also call at the first sign of dental pain, tooth discoloration, or other oral health changes. Read more about dentists and dentistry here on this blog, where we dive deep into related topics.
What do dentists do? They take care of your teeth, of course! But between applying fillings, placing crowns, and inserting implants, dentists do provide some services that are not entirely tooth-related. As it turns out, they care for the other structures in your mouth, too. Here are some non-tooth problems you can and should see your dentist about.
Severe Canker Sores
Most mild canker sores bug you for a few days, and then they disappear without you even realizing it. But sometimes, a serious canker sore may pop up and make it really painful for you to eat or speak. When this happens, you do not have to go on suffering. Dentists can usually treat a canker sore with laser therapy. This won't heal the sore instantly, but it will typically kill the bacteria or virus that is causing the sore so that it stops worsening and your body can heal. Your dentist may also be able to give you a numbing gel or cream that makes you more comfortable when eating and throughout the day.
Frequent Tongue Biting
Some people find that they bite their tongue rather often when sleeping, playing sports, or engaging in activities they find stressful. This can be painful, and it can also put you at risk for infection. A dentist can fit you with a custom mouth guard that you can wear at night, when playing sports, or at any other time during the day when you typically bite your tongue. They may also refer you to a neurologist for some testing to reveal why you are biting your tongue; occasionally this can be a sign of an underlying neurological condition like multiple sclerosis.
Spots on Your Tongue or Cheeks
You should call your dentists promptly if you notice any odd spots on your cheeks or tongue. Often, these are benign and nothing to worry about. Or they may be caused by yeast, prompting your dentist to prescribe an antifungal rinse. Other times, though, they are actually cancerous lesions that require specialized treatment. Your dentist can take a look and tell you what's amiss. They may refer you to a specialist for a biopsy if needed.
Dentists do spend the majority of their time caring for teeth, but that is not all they do. If you have issues with tongue biting, canker sores, or any mysterious spots in your mouth, make an appointment with your general dentist.
Contact a local dentist today to learn more.Share