A Few Things Your Dentist Can Help With Other Than Tooth Decay

Everyone knows that if you have a toothache that doesn't go away, you need to see a dentist. These professionals will take care of your teeth when you have a cavity or a chip or need to have them cleaned. What most people do not realize is dentist can also help with other health problems. Here are a few times you should see a dentist even though your teeth are just fine.

Sleep Apnea

If you have been having trouble sleeping, it may be due to sleep apnea, a condition in which you stop breathing and wake up during the night. You may not even be aware that you are waking up because you fall right back to sleep or do not completely wake up during an episode. A dentist can fit you with a device you wear at night to help prevent these episodes. Your primary care physician and dentist will work together to help you sleep better.


Another problem some people have is excessive snoring. It might be bad enough to keep your partner awake or even wake you up. Like sleep apnea, your dentist can give you a mouthpiece to wear at night that will keep you from keeping the house awake with your snoring.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

TMJ disorder is a problem with the joint, bones, and muscles in your jaw. If you experience pain in the jaw, neck, shoulders, face, or around your ear when you open your mouth wide, it could be due to this disorder. You may also experience headaches, dizziness, or ringing in the ears. Your dentist will take X-rays to check the alignment of your jaw bones. If there is a problem, you may need to wear a special mouthpiece for a while to help realign the bones. In severe cases, you will be referred to a dental specialist like an orthodontist or a dental surgeon to correct the problem.

Sinus Infections

Sometimes, when you go to your dentist because of a toothache, the problem is not the tooth but the sinus cavity near it. If there is a fluid build-up and infection in the sinus cavity, it can cause nearby teeth to hurt from the pressure. The blocked sinus will be seen in X-rays the dentist takes. They will prescribe an antibiotic to clear up the infection.

A dentist is an important partner in your overall health. Do not hesitate to make an appointment for any problem related to your mouth, jaw, or face. In addition, do not be surprised if your primary care physician tells you to see your dentist. Dental professionals do more than just clean your teeth. Talk to dentists like Dr. Peggy Alvarez-Penabad to learn more.