Dental health affects your ability to speak, smile and eat.
Dental Care and Health
Dentistry is a specialty that focuses on a patient's oral health and well-being. Oral health is linked with chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease. Dentists diagnose and treat diseases, injuries and malformations of the teeth and mouth. Dentists also:
- Improve a patient’s appearance.
- Perform surgical procedures, such as implants, tissue grafts and extractions.
- Educate patients on how to better care for their teeth and prevent oral disease.
- Teach future dentists and dental hygienists.
- Perform research directed to improving oral health and developing new treatment methods.
Signs you should visit a dentist:
- Teeth are sensitive to hot or cold
- Gums are puffy and/or they bleed when you brush or floss
- You have fillings, crowns, dental implants, dentures, etc.
- You don’t like the way your smile or teeth look
- Dry mouth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- You are pregnant
- Pain or swelling in your mouth, face or neck
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Family history of gum disease or tooth decay
- You have a medical condition, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eating disorders or are HIV positive
- You smoke or use other tobacco products
- Undergoing medical treatment, such as, radiation, chemotherapy or hormone replacement therapy
- Jaw sometimes pops or is painful when opening and closing, chewing or when you first wake up; you have an uneven bite
- You have a spot or sore that doesn’t look or feel right in your mouth and it isn’t going away