Oral health is a significant part of our overall health.
Notwithstanding this, many guys approach oral health in the same manner as minor ailments. We think there may be something wrong but plod along regardless. Only when the symptoms become debilitating do we ever think about going to see a dentist.
The good news is there are few common dental problems that arise simply by not keeping up with the standard oral care routine of brushing twice daily and flossing on an evening.
The bad news is that is that if dental trouble starts, it’s usually sudden and painful. What was once a small problem, can become an issue that needs to be dealt with immediately.
Here are some of the early signs of dental trouble, and what they could be associated with...
- Bad breath: Most people think that bad breath is just embarrassing but be aware that some of the top dental problems can cause bad breath (even after brushing, flossing, & using mouthwash) such as gum disease, cavities, oral cancer or bacteria on your tongue.
- Mouth sores: Mouth sores can be pesky, stubborn and even be painful. If you have mouth sores that last over a fortnight then it’s something to consult your doctor about.
- Jaw pain: Teeth grinding and jaw clenching (called bruxism) are often related to stress or anxiety. They do not always cause symptoms, but they can wear down your teeth over time and some people get facial pain and headaches.
- Gum disease: Gum disease is very common. Symptoms include bad breath, red/swollen gums, bleeding gums or painful chewing. It is one of the leading causes of tooth loss.
- Tooth sensitivity: This is when you have pain or discomfort when eating something hot or cold. Heightened sensitivity could be linked to a cracked tooth or a weakening of the enamel and, if not treated, can lead to losing teeth or jaw infection.
- Toothaches: Toothache occurs from inflammation of the central portion of the tooth called pulp. The pulp contains nerve endings that are very sensitive to pain. Inflammation to the pulp (referred to as pulpitis) may be caused by dental cavities or an infection.
- Tooth Decay: Tooth decay is damage to a tooth caused by dental plaque turning sugars into acid. If plaque builds up, it can lead to problems, such as holes in the teeth and gum disease.
If you are encountering any of the above, you should go and see your dentist. Being proactive and dealing with issues as and when they arise could save your teeth, overall oral and physical health, and belatedly, your wallet.
Remember, there are many basic steps you can take to keep your teeth healthy. The likelihood of suffering from dental and oral disease can be greatly reduced by brushing teeth twice daily (with fluoride toothpaste), flossing, lowering sugar intake and avoiding smoking.
In any event, in order to avoid any dental trouble and the lingering effects that dental problems can create, it’s best practice to see your dentist and an oral hygienist on a consistent basis, at least twice a year.
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