You may not think that oral health care is as important as other forms of health care such as eating right or exercising regularly, but your mouth is a major component in your overall well-being. Many diseases and illnesses show symptoms in your mouth, and if your teeth, tongue, gums, and jaw aren’t working their best and have been compromised by something, your general health could be impaired as well. Here are five major warning signs you should be watching out for.
Pain or Loose Teeth
Pain is your body’s way of letting you know something is wrong. If your teeth are hurting, it could be a symptom of a cavity, irritation, or an infection known as an abscess. Teeth can also become loose over time for many reasons, including deterioration of the gums. A loose tooth is something that should be addressed quickly before it becomes a lost tooth. Jaw pain can be a result of clenching or grinding that you may be doing consciously or unconsciously throughout the day or even while you’re asleep. This may be due to stress, anxiety, or other factors in your life. If the clenching and grinding is left too long without being looked after, it can cause damage to the teeth to the point of fractures resulting in the tooth needing to be removed.
With normal brushing, you shouldn’t see blood in the sink. Your gums are able to withstand routine brushing and flossing as long as they are healthy. It is when they are unhealthy that you may start to see the flecks of red start to appear. If you do notice swelling or bleeding, don’t ignore it! It can be a sign of gum disease or periodontal disease, which could lead to lost teeth if not taken care of. Gum disease is caused when there is a large number of bacteria in your mouth, and many adults have some degree of the disease. Regular cleaning appointments with the hygienist at your dental clinic will help you to stay on top of things and ensure your gums are as healthy as they can be.
Some sensitivity is normal as your teeth wear and age, but sudden sensitivity is cause for concern. It may be a sign of an infection, a cavity, or excessive wear to either the tooth or the gum leading to the sensitive parts of the tooth becoming exposed. This is very painful, and stops you from enjoying your favourite morning beverages or a chilled dessert in the evening. Rather than trying to mask the symptoms with numbing gels and toothpastes, it is always best to get it looked at by a professional before the problem gets worse.
Sores, ulcers, and sensitive spots in the mouth need to be monitored. If they are a result of something like eating food that was too hot, or accidentally biting the inside of your cheek, then they are nothing to worry about. If they appear out of nowhere however and don’t seem to be healing, then they are cause for concern. These lesions can be symptoms of other illnesses. For example, a lengthy healing process could be an indicator of diabetes, as diabetics have a harder time recovering from injuries. Some spots and sores may also be indications of oral cancer. If you are at all concerned about any new changes or feel like something isn’t healing right, don’t hesitate to bring it up to your dental office.
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is quite common. Everyone has it after a particularly spice heavy meal or first thing in the morning. With a quick brush and rinse, it often goes away. It’s when the bad breath sticks around and becomes a chronic problem that there is cause for concern. This may indicate some decay, cavities, or gum disease. If you feel like you may have chronic bad breath, ask your dentist or dental hygienist about some tips to keep it at bay and ways to improve your breath in the future.
If you have any of these warning signs and would like to come in to discuss them further, give Family Dental Care a call at 613-736-5000 and we will be more than happy to put your mind at ease and get you back to smiling again!