Did you know that your oral health is an important part of your overall health and well-being? Aside from issues such as tooth decay and gum disease, it is also linked to other conditions – including heart disease.
For the most part all you need to do to ensure your oral health is good is to instill the right dental habits. However at the same time you should also know some of the signs of poor oral health that you need to look out for.
Spotting any of these signs early and getting them treated will nip many oral health issues in the bud and prevent them from getting worse.
Tooth, Mouth or Jaw Pain
If you feel a pain coming from your teeth, mouth or jaws – it is definitely a sign that something isn’t right. One of the most common culprits is tooth decay, or any other damage to your teeth.
Aside from that however, it may be caused by gum disease, sinus problems, or stress. In some cases the cause could be something that is easy to identify – such as if you recently knocked your jaw against something.
In mild cases you may just feel your teeth are sensitive when you drink or eat something that is too hot or too cold.
The more intense the pain, the more urgent it is that you visit your dentist. If it isn’t that intense you can wait a day or two and see if it subsides, but if it does not you should book an appointment as soon as possible.
Bleeding or Swollen Gums
As you can imagine, bleeding or swollen gums are often a surefire sign of gum disease. Normally your gums starting to bleed after you brush or floss is an early sign of gingivitis.
If you notice any bleeding there’s no reason to panic immediately. However if the bleeding is regular then you should book an appointment with your dentist.
Catching gum disease in the early stages of gingivitis will make it much easier to treat and it should be completely reversible with no permanent damage.
Bad breath is one of the most common signs of oral health issues, but it isn’t easy to determine its cause. It could be due to poor oral hygiene and gum disease, but it could also be because of sinus infections, diabetes, liver disease, lung infections, and several other issues.
The good news is that in the majority of cases bad breath is simply caused because your mouth is too dry and you’ve consumed food or drinks that cause a smell.
However if you find that you have chronic bad breath despite brushing and flossing thoroughly, you should go for a checkup to see if there’s an underlying issue.
Noticed that one (or more) of your teeth feel a little bit loose? Make no mistake unless you happened to hit your mouth against something, it is probably a sign that something is very wrong.
Loose teeth are typically caused by advanced gum disease (i.e. periodontitis). At times they may be an early sign of osteoporosis too. Suffice to say you will want to visit your dentist quickly to confirm the cause and start treatment.
Mouth sores are not that uncommon, but they may be a sign of some serious issues. If you notice that you are getting sores regularly or there are sores that don’t seem to go away, you should get it checked up.
Some mouth sores may be caused by an oral fungal infection that causes white or yellow patches of bumps and sores. However at other times the sores may be an early sign of oral cancer, which typically starts out as a small red or white sore.
The sooner you get mouth sores checked out, the safer you’ll be. That is especially true if it is accompanied by other worrying signs such as bleeding, hard spots and patches, numbness, or any type of discolorations.
If you are able to recognize the signs of poor oral health, you will be able to identify underlying issues sooner and get them treated. That could make a world of difference and will help to ensure that the conditions don’t spiral of out of control.
Now that you know what to look out for, you should have no problem spotting the warning signs when you inspect your mouth. If you have any doubts whatsoever it is best to play it safe and visit your dental consultant as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that spotting the signs of oral health issues is not the same as diagnosing them and you should always wait until you visit your dentist before you come to any conclusions.