Everyone, at some point in their lives, will have a problem in their mouth. Most often, problems are temporary or easily treated. But there are changes in your mouth that should cause concern and prompt a call to your dentist.
Here are five symptoms you should never ignore:
- Toothache: In most cases, a toothache is a signal that something isn’t going quite right in your mouth. Waiting can cause damage to your tooth…or worse. At the first sign of a toothache, see your dentist.
- Painful Jaw: Jaw pain can be caused by a variety of issues, but often from sinus problems, bite issues or Bruxism—persistent grinding and clenching teeth. Your dentist is trained to evaluate the health of your oral cavity, including your jaw. Best to see your dentist.
- Bad Breath: While this might seem like an insignificant issue, it could be a sign of something more serious than an unpleasant aroma from the pizza you ate for lunch. It could be a sign of gum disease. See your dentist. At the very least, you’ll get tips for fresh breath. Hint: brush twice daily for two minutes and floss often.
- Recurring Mouth Sores: Unlike toothaches, some mouth sores go away on their own, including canker sores and cold sores. But others might be a symptom of infection or a virus—even cancer. If you notice a change in color or texture on the inside of your cheeks, gums or tongue, see your dentist. Don’t wait.
- Inflamed Gums: Gum inflammation can be caused by something as simple as brushing too hard or not flossing often enough. But more often than not, it’s an early sign of gingivitis (i.e. gum disease). If you experience sore, bleeding or inflamed gums on a regular basis, this isn’t normal. See your dentist.
Ideally, everyone should see a dentist twice a year for a professional teeth cleaning and thorough examination to ensure healthy teeth and gums. Regular dental visits and good oral hygiene can prevent most dental issues, so don’t wait until you have a problem. Your mouth will thank you.