Teeth are taken for granted until something goes wrong. It’s simple to get a cavity filled, but sometimes, the problem goes much deeper. Ignoring certain dental problems could lead to serious health issues in the long run.
Here are seven things you never want to disregard.
1. Bleeding Gums
Your gums can be sensitive, but they build up tolerance quickly. If it’s been a while since you’ve brushed or flossed, your gums may bleed for a few days. Bleeding gums may also be a sign that your toothbrush bristle is too stiff. You should only use a soft bristle unless specifically instructed by your dentist to do otherwise.
Bleeding gums can also be a sign of gum recession or gingivitis. The gum tissue becomes very weak when you have gum disease, and the bleeding is one of the first signs of it. Once gingivitis or gum recession is diagnosed, you’ll want to quickly plan a minimally invasive procedure to correct the problem.
A lesion is any abnormality to the tissue of an organ (in this case, your gums) that may be caused by disease or trauma. In your mouth, a lesion is typically an open sore that doesn’t seem to heal. Mouth wounds heal very quickly, so anything that remains after a few days is likely a more serious problem.
3. Tooth Sensitivity
There’s rarely a simple explanation for tooth sensitivity as it’s often a culmination of several things. Additionally, most causes are not serious. There are many nerves in your teeth roots and gums, and the slightest irritation can cause your teeth to be sensitive.
However, it’s always good to bring this up with your dentist because it’s a common symptom of tooth decay, receding gums, or gingivitis. Treating these serious issues as soon as possible is essential to nipping the problems in the bud.
4. Jaw Pain
Pain in your mouth or jaw may indicate a little stress or could be something more serious. Many people clench their jaws and grind their teeth when they’re under significant stress, and you might contract a painful ailment called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. It makes eating and talking painful, but it’s simple to treat.
Jaw discomfort can also indicate a more severe problem like a heart attack. This is a common symptom of a heart attack, but it usually won’t manifest without other symptoms like indigestion, chest pressure or pain, left arm pain, etc. If you experience more than one of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
5. Loose Teeth
As an adult, you shouldn’t be losing teeth, and if you do, it’s usually an advanced sign of gum disease. As the gums pull away from the teeth, it can cause the teeth to become loose and even fall out.
Loose teeth or tooth loss could also be a sign of osteoporosis. As the teeth roots begin to decrease bone density and weaken, they can loosen and fall out. Never ignore these signs of an underlying issue!
6. Growths or Bumps Inside the Mouth
Never ignore a growth or abnormal bump anywhere on your body, but especially in the mouth. Sometimes, these bumps can be harmless cysts or canker sores, but they could also be a very severe form of cancer. Speak to your dentist about any bump or growth that doesn’t heal within a few days.
Oral cancer results in about 10,000 deaths each year. It’s very aggressive, and treatments are often unsuccessful unless caught very early on. Cancer can occur without any provocation, but it’s most likely to occur for those who use tobacco, smoke, drink alcohol frequently, suffer from HPV, or consistently maintain a poor diet.
7. Bad Breath
It’s not uncommon to wake up with bad breath, especially if you ate something with garlic and onions the night before. But a constant state of bad breath, clinically referred to as halitosis, indicates a deeper-seeded issue.
Bad breath is one of the most common symptoms of gum disease and gingivitis. It could also indicate tooth decay. There may be underlying symptoms like gastrointestinal issues, sinus infections, liver or kidney disease, diabetes, or a lung infection.
Taking care of your oral health is just one of many essential ways that you can stay healthy and prevent serious health problems down the line.