Dental health is different to general health. Most of us only tend to see a doctor when we’re feeling under the weather or if we’ve noticed changes in our mood, energy levels, or the way our body works. When it comes to your teeth and gums, you shouldn’t wait until you have a dental disaster to book a dental appointment. Prevention is always better than cure, and this is why regular checks are recommended. If you haven’t been to the dentist for a while or you spot these red flag signs, pick up the phone now!
Bleeding Gums: If you noticed that you were bleeding from any other part of your body, you’d probably take note straight away. But for some reason, many of us ignore bleeding gums. The trouble is that bleeding gums are often a sign of gum disease, a potentially serious disease, which can contribute to early tooth loss. Gum disease is caused by harmful bacteria. Mild gum disease, known as gingivitis, is relatively easy to treat with good oral hygiene and cleaning treatments. However, advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, is much more difficult for dentists to manage. It causes irreparable damage to the gums and the bone tissue that lies beneath. The end result is premature tooth loss, as the bony sockets are unable to hold the teeth in place any longer. If you do spot blood when you brush your teeth, or you’ve noticed that your gums are swollen or sore, see your dentist. Don’t wait for your next scheduled check-up, as gum disease can develop quickly.
Tooth Pain: Tooth pain is very common, and sometimes, it’s nothing to worry about. However, it can often be a sign of underlying issues, such as decay. If you have severe pain or pain that is getting worse, it’s particularly important to seek advice from your dentist. The earlier you address the problem, the better. If you have a cavity, for example, a filling can prevent further damage to the tooth and reduce the risk of an abscess from forming. Dental pain can also be caused by an infection. If you get shooting pain when you bite down or you experience throbbing pain, this may be symptomatic of an infection.
Slow-Healing Ulcers: Mouth ulcers are very common. They tend to develop when you’ve accidentally cut the inside of your cheek or lip when you’ve been eating, for example. In most cases, ulcers don’t cause any problems and they heal within a week without the need for treatment. If you’ve had an ulcer for longer than two weeks, it’s advisable to see your dentist. It’s very unlikely, but slow-healing sores can be a sign of oral cancer.
If you haven’t been to the dentist in the last 6-12 months, pick up the phone now and make an appointment! Dental issues only get worse with time, so it’s particularly important to visit your dentist if you’ve experienced problems or noticed any of these red flag signs.
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