Have you ever wondered if some signs you are seeing are indicating that your oral health may not be as strong as it should be? Or do you wonder if perhaps the signs and indicators might just be of something minor or easily correctable on your own? In either case, there are some signs that you can look for that can give an indication about whether your oral health is good or if it’s not where is needs to be, and it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
One thing to look for on a regular basis is bleeding gums. This condition can potentially be caused by brushing the teeth with a toothbrush whose bristles are too hard, however, if you change your toothbrush to one with softer bristles and you still experience bleeding and gum sensitivity, then this is likely telling you that other oral health conditions are having this effect and an examination and evaluation from a dental professional is in order.
Another thing to be aware of is sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods. As the enamel deteriorates from the bacteria sitting on the teeth when you don’t brush, certain items could cause sensations in the mouth. This will be commonly felt when you bite down on something such as a Popsicle or a hot sandwich, and increasing sensitivity indicates that your condition may be deteriorating over time. Again, a sign that a thorough examination of your teeth and enamel would be beneficial.
One of the most visible ways you project oral health to the world is by the color of your teeth. No one enjoys having people notice that your teeth are discolored, and color changes can be cosmetic or indicators of something potentially more serious. Stains on the teeth are often caused by certain foods as well as drinks like coffee or tea. Smoking will also cause a noticeable discoloration on the teeth. As you may have noticed on other smiles, these activities and habits can leave a yellow tint to the teeth. This discoloration is something that can be proactively addressed by both stopping these activities which are the primary causes of the condition, coupled with, as we’ve been told time and time again, regular brushing and flossing. Professional teeth whitening is also available from dentists to provide faster and immediate results. These results though won’t last like you had hoped if you don’t address the underlying causes, so consider the lifestyle and dietary changes you can make to help your oral health.
Pain in the mouth and teeth is a clear-cut indicator that something is wrong and should not be ignored. Some of the causes of pain can include abscesses from an infection in the mouth, cavities that are near the nerve of the tooth and teeth that are chipped or broken, to name a few. If there are any cracks in your teeth, then your tooth structure has weakened and there is a higher probability for the tooth to break, even during normal activities like while you are eating or brushing.
Unless you are young and still have baby teeth, you should not at any point have loose teeth in your mouth. Tooth looseness can be an indicator of a range of oral health concerns, including periodontitis, which is an inflammation and infection of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth. When you don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque and tartar build up at the base of the teeth. This build-up leads to inflammation which causes a pocket or gap to form between your gum line and the teeth, that in turn fills with plaque and tartar. Untreated inflammation leads to damage of the tissues and bone surrounding the tooth, which can make it loose and lead to infection. The longer infection of your gums, also referred to as gingivitis, is allowed to progress without treatment, the greater the change of significant damage to your teeth, mouth and overall oral health.
So in short, if you have a loose tooth that you weren’t expecting, or even if you were, get it examined as soon as possible. You’ll be glad you did.
If you experience any of these outlined conditions, it is important to see a dentist to get a proper oral exam and to hold to regular check-ups so that you will have teeth that are strong and beautiful for years to come. Visiting the dentist early when you first notice the signs, even if between your regular check-ups, can save you time, pain, money and likely increase the chance that less invasive dental treatments will be needed to restore your mouth and teeth to optimal oral health.