There are many things you can do for your teeth and gums to ensure lasting oral health like brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and avoiding sugary foods and tobacco products. While these are all important things you can do on your own, there is still work that can only be done by a professional to maintain a healthy set of teeth and gums like x-rays. If you visit your dentist twice a year as recommended, it is likely you won’t need x-rays every visit, but x-rays are an important aspect of oral care. The following dental issues might be unseen by your dentist but caught only in a dental x-ray.

Developing Teeth

Dental x-rays allow your dentist to see well beneath the gums to identify new teeth that they would not likely be able to foresee other wise. This is especially crucial for younger patients under the age of 13. Typically, by the time puberty hits, most children will have all 28 of their adult teeth. However, sometimes teeth can be delayed, and an x-ray will be able to identify those late blooming pearly whites before they make their debut. It is also possible for an abnormality to occur and have additional teeth develop beyond the 28 adult and 4 wisdom teeth. X-rays allow your dentist to know what to expect with incoming teeth, see the direction they are forming, and can direct you to the proper plan of action whether that be oral care or teeth pulling.

Early Signs of Infection

Inflamed tissue in your gums can cause serious infection that could affect many aspects of your oral health. Some of these issues might not be noticeable to the naked eye until they are more severe, which is where your dental x-rays can help in early treatment. While some infections do start to develop on the outside of your gums, some tumors begin developing on the bones of your teeth inside of your gums. As these go untreated, you are likely to cause more damage to your teeth and gums than necessary. By letting your dentist administer a dental x-ray, you might be saving yourself a lot of pain and financial woes down the road. 

Damage to Your Teeth

Cavities can be a menace to us all, but letting them go untreated can cause you bigger issues than a little discomfort. Unfortunately, some cavities form in between your teeth, making it unlikely for your dentist to find them with their typical tools. A dental x-ray will be able to identify new cavities in hard to reach places so that your dentist can fix them early on. In addition to cavities, dental x-rays can also help identify early signs of teeth grinding that your dentist might not be able to notice. Teeth grinding, also known as Bruxism, if left untreated, can result in headaches, jaw pain, shortened or loosened teeth, or even cracked or broken teeth. Catching your teeth grinding early through a dental x-ray and finding a solution to the cause could help save you from serious and more painful issues.  

Consider Larry D. Molenda D.D.S as your family dentist in San Marcos, TX.