Dental and oral health is an essential part of your overall health and well-being. Poor oral hygiene can lead to dental cavities and gum disease, and has also been linked to various medical conditions affecting the whole body. Sometimes, you might experience dental symptoms that indicate a problem in your oral health.
Here are a few symptoms that should not go undetected:
If your mouth or jaw hurts, it’s obviously a sign. It’s important you see your Dentist. Dull pain or aches are typically associated with the gums, while sharper pain is typically associated with the teeth. The nature of pain tells your dentist a lot about what’s going on, for instance: brief pain, constant pain, pain triggered by heat, or pain triggered by cold, location, extent, etc. There are various signs and symptoms and each one could indicate a different condition. Various signs of pain could indicate simpler conditions such as gingivitis or a small cavity, or a more involved condition such as an abscess, deep cavities, progressive gum disease or even a pathological condition.
A toothache should be evaluated by a dentist right away to determine the cause of the problem. Delaying diagnosis and/or treatment could lead to more involved and complicated treatment.
2. SENSITIVE TEETH
If your teeth hurt when you drink hot or cold beverages, you may have sensitive teeth. This can be the result of tooth decay (cavity), fractured teeth, worn fillings, gum disease, worn tooth enamel or an exposed tooth root due to gum recession.
This condition can be caused by a variety of situations, here are a few:
- Brushing too hard.
- Using a hard bristled toothbrush
- Plaque build-up or gum diseases
- Acidic foods and beverages
- Teeth grinding or clenching.
- Cracked tooth.
Treatment will depend on the source of sensitivity. If you’re concerned about the sensitivity of your teeth see your dentist for a thorough diagnosis and your treatment options.
3. BLEEDING GUMS & SORE GUMS
Bleeding is the first sign of gingivitis! Bleeding or sore gums can also be a sign of a problem with your oral health which could include:
- An infection in the tooth or gums.
- Gingivitis (inflamed gums)
- Periodontitis which is commonly known as ‘Gum Disease’
- A vitamin deficiency (mainly vitamin C)
- Poor fitting dentures or problems with existing dental implants.
If your gums bleed regularly, or enough to worry you, make an appointment with your dentist. Bleeding gums are not normal and is a sign that your body is telling you that something is wrong.
4. MOUTH SORES
Types of mouth sores include canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia and candidiasis. They vary in their severity and causes. The cause of common mouth sores (commonly known as ‘canker sores’ or ‘apthous ulcers’ or ‘apthous stomatitis’) is unknown, and they typically heal on their own. They typically last for 7 days. However, mouth sores can have other causes, such as:
- Viral infections
- Bacterial infections
- Conseuqneces of tobacco use.
- Chemotheraphy and Radiation.
- Vitamin or mineral deficiency.
- A pre-cancerous or cancerous condition
If you notice a spot in your mouth that does not heal on its own within 7 days or changes over time, it’s time to see your dentist right away.
5. BAD BREATH
Bad breath is also known as ‘halitosis’. This can indicate you aren’t brushing and flossing properly. You can typically correct this at home by brushing twice a day and flossing daily, along with visiting your dentist for a cleaning every six months. However, in many patients, deposits under and around your gums form (known as ‘tartar’ or ‘caluclus’) which need to be professionally removed. These deposits can cause recession, bone loss and eventual loss of your teeth. However, bad breath has other causes too, some of which can be serious. These causes include:
- Dry mouth
- An infection
- Tonsil stones
- Acid reflux or cancer.
6. STAINED OR DISCOLOURED TEETH
Over time your teeth can become stained and change colour. This is often the result of a few things like:
- Eating certain foods, such as coffee or tea.
- Smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Aging or genetics.
- Certain medications like tetracyclines or antihistamines.
Check with your dentist about your options for stain removal. Depending on the simplicity of the cause for your stains, multiple options for treatment are available.
We hope this article was useful to you. We stress the importance of having 6 months checkups with your dentist. If you have any pain or symptoms that are not normal, call your Dentist immediately.
Schedule an appointment with us today to keep your oral health in check!