Most patients should visit their dentist twice a year. Regular dental exams are important for preventative care. However, your dentist can do much more than simply clean your teeth every six months. Dentists can treat a wide variety of oral problems as well. Here are four conditions your general dentist can treat:
1. Oral Pain
Oral pain typically originates from the teeth. If one of your teeth becomes infected by decay, you may experience sharp, throbbing pain that can only be remedied by a dentist. A dentist can diagnose the cause of oral pain using a visual exam and x-rays. In most cases, dental fillings will be required to treat toothaches. Your dentist will remove the damaged enamel from your teeth using a drill, then fill the cavity left behind with composite resin or amalgam. Most patients feel better immediately after their treatment.
2. Misaligned Teeth
Most people do not naturally have perfect, straight teeth. Crooked teeth, overbites, and underbites are very common in people of all ages. Misaligned teeth can be a cosmetic concern for people who desire a straight, picture-perfect smile. Crooked teeth can even be a dental concern that can cause pain and difficulty chewing in extreme cases. If you suffer from misaligned teeth, your general dentist may be able to help.
Many general dentists offer noninvasive orthodontic treatments that don't require a trip to a specialist. Clear aligners can be used to put pressure on poorly aligned teeth. Over a period of several months, these aligners can push your teeth into an ideal position.
3. Bad Breath
Occasional bad breath is normal. It can occur after several hours of sleep or after eating strongly scented foods. However, chronic bad breath can be a sign of an oral infection or gum disease. Your dentist can treat your bad breath by suggesting alterations to your dental care routine. They may also prescribe tooth scaling or root planing to deal with periodontal disease if they believe poor gum health is the cause of your bad breath.
You may be surprised to learn that your general dentist can also treat snoring. Snoring is frequently caused by partially obstructed airways. It can trouble your sleeping partner, keeping them up all night. Snoring can also reduce your quality of sleep. A dentist can create a special mouthguard for patients who suffer from snoring. The dental appliance is called a mandibular advancement device. It will widen your airway by slightly changing the position of your lower jaw while you sleep. A mandibular advancement device can help you breathe easier so you can get a full night's rest and avoid disturbing your partner.
Contact a local general dentistry office to learn more.