When you’re brushing your teeth you may notice that something is out of the ordinary. But, you don’t have to be a dentist to see the signs of a larger dental issue. A small sign may be enough to be proactive about your dental health.
Small Problems Can Become Larger Dental Issues
Your teeth can tell you a lot about your overall health. It is important to address any symptoms or problems that arise. Our team at Park Avenue Dental is here to ensure your small discomforts don’t become large problems.
Five Signs that You May Have Poor Dental Health
While some discomforts may seem insignificant they can sometimes point to a larger underlying cause. If any of these issues become chronic, we recommend you contact your dentist immediately. To provide more insight and clarity, we have compiled a list of five signs that you may have poor dental health.
Tooth decay begins with permanent damage to the enamel on the surface of the tooth. The Mayo Clinic notes that tooth decay is among the world’s most common health problems. Often in the form of cavities, tooth decay is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria on the tooth. In addition to bacteria, having an unbalanced diet with improper nutrition and poor dental hygiene will be the perfect breeding ground for cavities. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to infections and in the most serious cases, tooth loss. You may have tooth decay if you experience toothaches, sensitivity to temperatures, or visible dark spots located on the surface of the tooth.
To avoid tooth decay, it is important to have regular biannual dental cleanings and have an established dental routine that includes daily flossing. It is important to seek dental treatment immediately if you persistently recognize any of these symptoms.
Caused by a lack of saliva production, dry mouth can lead to larger dental problems if left untreated. A chronic dry mouth makes you more susceptible to tooth decay, cavities, and infections because saliva acts as a constant cleanser for your mouth. Without saliva, your mouth falls victim to larger dental issues.
According to Mayo Clinic, dry mouth can be a side effect of certain medications, including over-the-counter and prescribed medicines like antidepressants and antihistamines. Dry mouth can also lead to reduced sense of taste and difficulty swallowing.
Having bleeding gums can seem normal, but you’ll find that it leads to a larger issue if ignored. If your gums bleed occasionally when brushing your teeth or flossing, this is often normal and there’s no need to panic. However, if your gums bleed daily and are inflamed, it could be a sign of a larger issue.
Though there are several reasons why your gums may bleed chronically, it is possible that or you are in the early stages of gingivitis. Gingivitis develops due to bacteria and plaque build-up around the gums caused by poor dental hygiene. In order to stop gingivitis from progressing into periodontitis, it is important to floss daily. Additionally, if you have sensitive or inflamed gums, we recommend using a toothbrush with soft bristles to help reduce inflammation and bleeding gums. If you put these new routines into place and still experience bleeding gums, we recommend scheduling an appointment with our dentists.
Teeth grinding, medically known as bruxism, is a condition that causes you grind your teeth or clench your jaw. This is most commonly done subconsciously or during sleep. If left untreated, grinding your teeth can result in jaw disorders, damaged teeth, and more. Teeth grinding can be caused by a variety of factors including stress, use of tobacco products, certain prescription medicines including antidepressants, or in some cases, can be developed as a hereditary condition. Some symptoms of ground teeth are:
- Flattened, chipped, or loose teeth
- Clenched jaw
- Tooth sensitivity
- Frequent headaches
If you notice you frequently have a clenched jaw or grind your teeth, we recommend speaking with a dentist. Teeth grinding may not seem like a serious concern at the beginning, but it can cause lasting impact down the road.
Not to be confused with morning breath, bad breath can be chronic in some instances. Bad breath can be caused by the digestion of foods or the use of tobacco products. Certain medications can cause dry mouth, which often leads to bad breath. Other causes of bad breath can be:
- Poor dental hygiene (not brushing teeth or flossing regularly)
- Sinus infections or inflammation
- Chronic acid reflux
- Tonsil stones that often appear as small white/yellow balls are covered in bacteria that produce foul odors
If you are experiencing chronic bad breath, try upgrading your dental hygiene routine. We recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day, making sure to brush your tongue each time, and flossing after every meal. Using mouthwash at night after brushing your teeth may also help to reduce the occurence of bad breath in the mornings. Additionally, drinking plenty of water and cutting down the consumption of sugary drinks should help with bad breath too.
Maintain Your Dental Health With Park Avenue Dental
At Park Avenue Dental, your dental health comes first. If you notice any of these persistent and often recurring symptoms, we recommend you schedule an appointment with us. Our team of dentists is happy to provide you the dental care you need.