By the time your six-month dental cleaning and exam rolls around, you can probably tell that your teeth are in need of a little extra TLC. Even if you’ve been diligent about brushing and flossing, it always feels good to have your teeth professionally cleaned and to know the built-up tartar that your toothbrush can’t tackle has been removed. Some oral health problems, however, are bigger than a little plaque build-up. And if you’re not keeping up with your regular dental cleanings because you’re embarrassed by the state of your oral health, you’re creating even bigger problems for yourself down the road. Here are four teeth and gum symptoms you should never ignore.
- Bleeding Gums
If your gums are bleeding regularly, that’s a sign that gingivitis has set in. Gingivitis is characterized by bleeding gums and swollen gums caused by an accumulation of bacteria, but this early stage of periodontal disease doesn’t have to progress. When your gums are irritated but your teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets, it’s possible to treat the gingivitis with scaling and root planing to clean bacteria and tartar off the deeper surfaces of the tooth, including the roots.
- Loose Teeth
It’s only acceptable for teeth to be loose in their sockets for children losing their baby teeth. When your teeth are loose as an adult, it’s a sign that gum disease is present. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. Periodontitis is when the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets which easily collect food and bacteria and can then become infected. The bone and gums that hold teeth in place break down and teeth are no longer securely anchored. Gum disease is treatable.
- Mouth or Jaw Pain
Mouth or jaw pain can be indicative of toothaches, cavities, gingivitis, bite issues, or clenched teeth. All of these issues can be treated, but you have to get yourself to a dentist in order to be properly diagnosed. Many people may choose to simply live with mouth or jaw pain, believing it’s merely caused by stress. Jaw pain can be eliminated with the proper treatment, whether that’s a thorough cleaning, composite filling, Invisalign, or an NTI Tension Suppression system.
- Bad Breath
Eat onions at lunch? Love garlic with every meal? These foods might cause bad breath temporarily, but your breath shouldn’t remain toxic all day long and for weeks after a particularly savory meal. Consistent bad breath (far more noticeable by others) or a bad taste in the mouth can mean bacteria has built up in your mouth. Being lax about daily flossing and brushing doesn’t help matters, and neither does missing your regular dental cleanings. Bad breath can also be a sign of gum disease.
If you’re experiencing problems with your teeth and gums, they could be indicative of bigger oral health issues – only a dentist can tell you for sure. Don’t wait until it’s too late to have your teeth tended to – it’s a dentist’s job to help you achieve good oral health. So even if you’re ashamed of how broken-down your smile may be, there is still hope for achieving a healthy, clean, attractive smile.
If you’re experiencing unpleasant or painful gum or tooth symptoms, contact Philadelphia Dentistry to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Ken Cirka to find out what kind of smile makeover treatment your smile may need. Learn more about the treatment of gingivitis in the following video: