No one actually enjoys going to the dentist, but the importance of oral health should not be underestimated. Right now, people in the U.S. are not taking their teeth seriously enough. In the past year, less than 65 percent of Americans visited a dental clinic. There are some obvious signs that you are having problems with your oral health. Even if you do go for a regular dental check-up, you should know what they are.
Bleeding or Swollen Gums:
If your pearly whites are looking a little grey, and your gums are very red, you may be suffering from periodontal disease. When bacterial plaque builds up on your teeth, over time it will result in inflamed and bleeding gums and tooth decay. Plaque is constantly forming on your teeth as you eat and drink substances containing starches or sugars.
The bacteria gradually release acids. Because plaque is sticky, it holds the acid against your teeth. In time it will attack the enamel and cause tooth decay. Periodontal disease has also been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis. Consider and electric toothbrush. They are much better at removing plaque than regular toothbrushes. If you’re not sure which one to buy, check out some reviews first.
Persistent Bad Breath:
If you can’t seem to get rid of bad breath, it could because you’re slacking on your oral hygiene, or it could be an indication of a health problem. When your dentist assesses the situation she will be able to determine whether you halitosis is caused by gum disease, ill-fitting dentures, a yeast infection, or dry mouth.
Tooth or Jaw Pain:
Grinding your teeth is one of the most common causes of jaw pain. You may even by grinding without realizing it, while you sleep. It can lead to dental problems. To prevent this from happening you can wear a mouthguard at night. Jaw pain may also be attributed to an abscess, gum disease or dental cavities. A more serious condition that can cause jaw pain is osteomyelitis. This is a blood infection that affects bones and surrounding tissue. When it occurs in the jaw, it causes severe pain. Fortunately it is treatable with antibiotics or surgery to remove any dead bone tissue.
Sudden, unexplained sensitivity to heat or cold could indicate a bacterial infection and you should visit your dentist at once. This type of abscess occurs in the tooth or gum next to a tooth that is rotting. Other symptoms of an abscess include fever, acute toothache, facial swelling and tender lymph nodes in your neck and below your jaw line.
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy not only makes it easier for you to eat, it is also important for your overall health. Brush and floss your teeth twice daily. Use an antibacterial mouthwash to further reduce the buildup of plaque-forming bacteria. You should make visits to your dentist every year. Regular check-ups and professional cleaning will ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy. If you experience any of the oral warning signs discussed above, you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Joe Boyle is a dental assistant who enjoys sharing his knowledge online through his articles which cover a range of dental topics.