Oral health is just as important as mental and physical health but more often than not, a scheduled trip to the dentist is overlooked. Sometimes, some even skip flossing regularly. Lack of oral hygiene could have consequences that can’t be undone. While it’s still early, an individual needs to be prompt about their oral health.
Sharp sudden pain or spontaneous gum bleeding are telltale signs that an individual’s oral health could be suffering. Watch out for these red flags and consult a professional as soon as possible:
Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
Being unable to thoroughly enjoy a cone of chocolate mint ice cream or a nice warm cup of coffee is a bummer, especially when the teeth get sensitive when exposed to these temperatures.
When the enamel or the outer layer of the tooth wears down, it may cause sensitivity that triggers hot or cold drinks and foods. The enamel is located above the gums, which protects the dentin of the tooth that stimulates the nerves. Loss of enamel may be caused by cavities, tooth injuries (i.e. bruised or chipped tooth), gum disease, harsh whitening toothpaste or mouthwashes, vigorous brushing, acidic foods, smoking, among others. It’s worth cutting down on these to minimize the discomfort.
Treatment for sensitive teeth may depend on the cause. The America Dental Association suggests some solutions to teeth sensitivity, like desensitizing toothpaste, fluoride gel, a crown, inlay or bonding surgical gum graft, or root canal treatment.
One common cause of toothache is wisdom tooth pain. What this is is a wisdom tooth is growing in, breaking through the gums. This is what causes the pain. One thing to look out for is impacted wisdom teeth. These are wisdom teeth that grow in a slanting angle, pushing towards the other molars before it. Sometimes, they may even be in a “lying down” position. The discomfort may even be worse if the individual also had jaw irregularities, which can be solved with jaw or oral surgery.
Although they sometimes don’t cause any problems, they are hard to reach and hard to clean. Because of this, they may be vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease. Moreover, there are cases wherein impacted wisdom teeth become infected and may cause pain. Symptoms of an infection include: swollen, bleeding gums, pain and/or swelling around the jaw, bad breath, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, and difficulty opening the mouth.
Another common cause of toothache is cavities. This is something many are familiar with. Cavities or tooth decay are damaged areas on the surface of the teeth, which causes holes and tiny openings in the teeth. Cavities are caused by frequent snacking, sugary drinks, bacteria, and not cleaning teeth well. Its symptoms include sudden, spontaneous toothache, sensitivity to sweet, hot, or cold foods and drinks, holes in teeth, pain when biting down, and staining on the surface of a tooth (brow, black, or white).
To relieve toothache, whichever the cause, the best option is to make an appointment with a dentist. Seek advice and treatment from a professional before it gets worse.
There are multiple causes for inflamed or swollen gums. Some of which are gum disease (e.g. gingivitis), pregnancy, malnutrition, and infection. Whichever may be the cause, it’s best to consult with a professional regarding treatment.
Swollen gums that last for more than one to two days could mean that there is an underlying cause. Putting it off for later may cause plaque build-up, bacteria, and dental decay, to name a few. Some things that can be done at home though are brushing and flossing gently, rinsing with a saltwater solution, drinking lots of water, placing a warm compress over the face to lessen gum pain, and avoid irritants such as strong mouthwashes and alcohol.
Chronic Bad Breath
Everybody has times when they feel conscious about their breath. It’s nothing a mint or a brushing of teeth can’t fix, at least most of the time. Unfortunately, others have the type of bad breath that isn’t easily remedied.
Bad breath or halitosis can be caused by certain foods, tobacco products, dry mouth, poor dental hygiene, infections in the mouth, medications, and health conditions. However, sometimes bad breath is something that can be solved with as simple as proper hygiene. But if it persists even then, that could mean that there’s an underlying reason that should be known about. In that case, consider seeking professional advice to know more about it and how to remedy it.
These red flags can be a reflection of an individual’s oral hygiene and practices. Although some symptoms can be passing and temporary, it’s best to remain vigilant and religious about brushing and flossing every day. It also helps to have regular visits to the dentist.