Signs from your teeth that you can’t ignore
Toothache and teeth loss are serious indicators of illness and deeper health issues. The condition of your teeth and gums can tell you loads about your body, your organs and your general health – so be sure to pay close attention to your mouth.
Oral diseases afflict more people in the world than any other disease in the human body. The World Health Organisation places the number of people suffering from pain, infection and decay due to oral diseases at 3.58 billion people, half the world population.
Dry mouth danger
Known as xerostomia, a dry mouth needs hydration, but it also needs to be checked out by a dentist.
Saliva, which is 99 % water and 1 % electrolytes and other chemicals, is needed for tasting, chewing and swallowing food.
Without saliva, the digestion process is derailed, and the mouth is vulnerable to attack from chemicals and microbes. Dental cavities, sensitive teeth, gum disease and other infections are the outcome.
Other symptoms include a sore throat, dry and cracked lips, mouth sores, bad breath, trouble speaking.
The causes of dry mouth include stress, dehydration, prescription medication and diseases such as autoimmune diseases and diabetes. Caffeine, chewing gum and certain foods are known to aggravate the condition.
Besides drinking more water, foods such as lemon, mint and cinnamon help produce saliva.
Gums and growths
Your mouth is home to populations of bacteria and germs; hence the need for twice a day is brushing and flossing and regular dental checks.
Should you fail to do this, gum inflammation is often the result, and this inevitably leads to gum diseases such as gingivitis, periodontitis and other periodontal diseases.
Signs that something is sorely amiss with your health can show up in your teeth and gums first.
- Swollen and tender gums
- Colour changes from pink to red gums
- Receding gums
- Bleeding gums
- Pain when chewing
- Sensitive and loose teeth
- Persistent bad breath and pus
- New spaces between your teeth.
Besides obvious inflammation and infection, bleeding gums may also indicate a vitamin C deficiency. A study has found this to be the case with people who follow a low carb diet. Redness may disappear after a day, or the bleeding may be a result of using a too hard toothbrush, but when it persists, you should see a dentist.
Whatever the condition, you may be at risk for debilitating diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease. All of these diseases are linked to oral bacteria.
It affects the blood vessels, the affected joints in arthritic patients and the lungs of COPD and asthma sufferers.
Another alarming condition that usually affects people in their 20s to 30s are cysts – fluid-filled growths that can easily be drained and removed by your dentist. Some of the symptoms are; tooth sensitivity, swelling, displaced teeth and small bumps on the gums.
If you don’t get the cyst seen to, it can cause gum infection. This could lead to tooth loss and weakening of the jaw bone.
And according to WebMD, an abscessed tooth should also be treated immediately. An abscess made up of pus forms at the root of an untreated decaying tooth or the site of gum disease. This is a painful condition accompanied by swelling, red gums, bad breath and tooth sensitivity. When swollen lymph nodes, fever and breathing difficulties occur, that means the infection has spread throughout the body and should be treated as a hospital emergency.
Growths can also be a result of heavy drinking, poor diet, HPV and oral cancer. Cancer signs include; lumps or mouth sores that won’t heal, lesions, sudden bleeding, numbness in the oral cavity, difficulty swallowing and moving the mouth and jaw.
Teeth sensitivity and hurting teeth
You take your life into your own hands if you hope that the sharp pain that jolts from a tooth, all the way to the top of your head when you consume food and drinks that are either too cold or too hot.
Tooth sensitivity may be due to bruxism – teeth grinding or a filling that fell out.
The problem has to do with root and nerve exposure of a tooth that is decaying, and the gums are infected.
But sometimes gum and tooth sensitivity can be eased by using toothpaste for sensitive teeth and gums and a softer toothbrush.
Meanwhile, persistent tooth pain, usually also due to infection, can have serious root causes, anything from cavities requiring root canals or crowns, sinus infections, oral cancer or a heart attack.
And the ever-present crippling pain is an indication that bacterial infection has set in. Best to see a dentist who will probably prescribe antibiotics or over-the-counter pain medication as part of the treatment.
Affinity Dental’s three tiers of dental insurance cover individual specialist work to various degrees.
Adults and children need to visit the dentist at least twice a year, and these dental maintenance appointments can start to add up. Dental insurance will cover you for additional treatments such as crowns, root canals or fillings, whether done at the dentist or specialist practice.