It’s wise to watch for the most common diseases of your teeth and gums. If any area of your mouth is uncomfortable, painful or sensitive or if you suspect you have one of the following conditions, visit your dentist.
- Cavity: a small hole that forms on the surface of a tooth. It’s caused by the buildup of plaque which produces an acid that destroys your tooth enamel. A cavity is a very common oral disease! It can be avoided by brushing and flossing daily and having regular dental check-ups.
- Gum Disease: an infection of the gums surrounding your teeth. Symptoms include bad breath, red and swollen gums, tenderness, bleeding, sensitive teeth and pain when chewing. Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque irritating the soft tissues along your gum line and can be avoided by regular dental check-ups along with daily brushing and flossing. Don’t ignore the symptoms of gum disease as it can cause your gums to recede or lead to more serious oral conditions.
- Receding gums: the wearing away of the gum tissue that surrounds your teeth caused by aggressive brushing with a hard bristled brush or the buildup of plaque along the gumline. You can tell your gums are receding if your teeth begin to look longer, the space between your teeth and their roots becomes visible, and/or you have an increase in sensitivity. Untreated, this condition may result in the need for antibiotic treatment and possible tooth loss.
- Abscess: a serious infection of the mouth that can affect your gums, teeth and supporting tissues. It’s caused by a build-up of tartar (hardened plaque), a deep cavity, a cracked tooth or a damaged filling. Common symptoms of an abscess include throbbing toothache, an ache in your jaw bone, pain when chewing, red and swollen gums, sensitivity to hot and cold, a fever, swelling of the face and a bad-tasting discharge in your mouth. The pain of an abscess can be excruciating! If you suspect that you have an abscess, call your dentist and ask for an immediate appointment, use over-the-counter pain medication and rinse your mouth with warm salt water two or three times a day.
- Oral Cancer: an abnormal cell growth in the mouth, lips, tongue or throat. It’s often curable if diagnosed and treated in the early stages. Symptoms include sores, lumps or rough areas in the mouth, difficulty chewing and change in your bite. These signs are not clear and often only detected during regular dental check-ups. This condition is treated by removing the affected area of the mouth followed by radiation and/or chemotherapy.
Dental problems are not fun! However, they are easily prevented by practicing good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day, floss daily, and see your dentist regularly. Your dentist has the skills and training to identify oral disease and help you maintain oral health ensuring a long life for your teeth and gums.
If you have any concerns regarding your oral health, call Centennial Smiles at 587-353-5060.