It is easy to let preventative dental care slip into the background because of other issues that seem more pressing, such as having a demanding job, young children, or a friend who needs your help. Until you suddenly have a nagging problem that reminds you that you have not had a checkup for a long time.
It is often tempting to delay dealing with dental issues that seem minor while you wait for a break in your busy schedule. However, you should never take any of the following warning signs lightly. It is particularly true if you have a chronic health problem such as diabetes. Learn more about how oral health is connected to your overall health. If you catch oral problems in the early stages, you will save time and money.
1. Bleeding When Flossing Or Brushing
It isn’t normal to have blood appear in the sink or on your toothbrush. It may mean you have started to develop periodontal disease, or gum disease, which is an infection of the gums that hold your teeth in their place. If gum disease is not treated, you can lose bone around the teeth, and eventually, you may lose your teeth. Additional signs of gum disease include discharge between gums and teeth and swollen, red, or tender gums.
2. Gums Are Receding
Some degree of gum recession is normal when aging; 88 % of people beyond the age of 65 have gum recession around one or more teeth. Recession is also a symptom of gum disease. Receding gums increase the risk of tooth decay, pain, infection, and tooth loss. If caught in the early stages, the proper treatment will halt or reverse receding gums.
3. Mouth Is Dry
A healthy mouth has plenty of salivae to lubricate it, to wash away bits of food, and to neutralize acids in the mouth. If your mouth is very dry, it can be a symptom of a problem. Your dentist can check to discover the cause of your dry mouth and help you find ways to restore saliva and protect the teeth.
4. Teeth That Are Shifting Or Loose
Adult teeth are meant to last for the lifetime of the person. If you see widening gaps or slight movement, have it checked as it could be serious. You may have an infection or even bone loss. Also, notice whether there have been changes in the way your teeth meet together when you bite or if there have been changes in the way that partial dentures fit.
5. Sores And Bumps In The Mouth
Canker sores clear up by themselves in a week or two. Other oral lesions require treatment. Candidiasis is a fungal infection sometimes called thrush, and it appears as white sores inside the mouth. Thrush is common in diabetics as they have high levels of sugar in their saliva. Medications can treat thrush.
6. Toothache Pain
This is an obvious sign of a problem. Toothaches should never be ignored. Sensitivity and pain in a tooth may be caused by an abscess, a cavity, damaged filling, broken tooth, or by grinding the teeth. The dentist can diagnose the cause of the pain and treat the problem so you will avoid having problems in the future.
Best Ways To Ensure A Healthy Mouth
Gum disease rarely shows warning signs in the early stages. This is why you need to have regular checkups even if you think you are feeling fine, and that you take good care of your teeth.
- Brush your teeth two or more times each day, for at least two minutes.
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush as hard bristles can be damaging to the gums.
- Floss daily to clean between your teeth and also below the gum line.
- Ask the dentist about using a fluoride rinse to prevent cavities.
If you use dentures, be sure you clean them on a daily basis. This will remove stains and plaque that can be irritating to the gums. Do not wear your dentures while sleeping.