Understanding Terminology: Symptoms, Underlying Causes, And More!

When you visit us for dental cleanings and checkups, we speak with you about your smile and your oral health. We talk about any problems we see (if any), about how to deal with those concerns, and more. When you’re familiar with the way your smile and possible issues work and the terms associated with them, it’s very easy to gain a big picture understanding of your smile, common concerns, and what you need to do both to offer your grin protection and to treat it when things don’t go quite as planned. However, if you feel you need a bit of a review of the day-to-day dental care jargon you require, our Austin, TX team is happy to make this happen!

What Are Symptoms?

You hear a lot about symptoms but what are they? It’s important to keep in mind that when we use this word in regard to your oral health, we are talking about a sign, which is usually a change representative of a problem. For instance, you may have a toothache (letting you know that it could be a cavity or something else). You may have bad breath (letting you know you have decay, an infection, dry mouth, or something else). It’s your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.

Sometimes these obvious “red flags” show up. Sometimes, even if there’s an underlying concern, they don’t occur or you simply don’t notice them. This is why if you recognize a symptom, you should schedule a visit and why if you don’t, you should still schedule twice-annual dental checkups so we may detect concerns for you.

What’s Masking A Symptom Mean?

You may hear the phrase “masking a symptom” and wonder what this means. In the case of your oral health, it means covering up a problem (and essentially convincing yourself that this means you’ve eliminated the actual problem, even though you have not). Maybe you mask bad breath with mouthwash or chewing gum (but the infection is still there). Perhaps you mask a toothache with a pain reliever (but the decay is still present).

What Do Underlying Causes Refer To?

As you have likely gathered, the term “underlying cause” in regard to oral health concern is the issue that is creating your symptoms. The cavity leads to the toothache. The cracked tooth leads to the sensitivity. The gum disease leads to the tenderness. In order to fix the problem and eliminate the symptoms as a result, you need professional dental care!

Understand Dental Care With Ease

Become familiar with dental care and common terminology, so you find that you can more easily work your way through identifying oral health concerns, followed by coming in for a dental checkup and treatment! Schedule a visit with your dentist in Austin, TX by contacting Austin General Dentistry today at 512-346-5540.