The Top 10 Oral Health Warning Signs

male and female dentist around a female patient

It’s hard to eat well and enjoy good food and drinks if you don’t have healthy teeth and gums. It’s important to see your dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups. When caring for your teeth and gums at home, paying attention to irregularities can help you catch underlying issues before they get serious. If you notice any of the following symptoms, be sure to see your dentist right away for prompt diagnosis and treatment.

1. Mouth Pain

Mouth pain can be attributed to a number of treatable things, such as cold sores, toothaches, or jaw discomfort. It can be a sign of stress or a more serious condition, so scheduling an appointment with your dentist can help determine the proper treatment you need.

2. Painful and Bleeding Gums

Achy or bleeding gums are typically a sign of gum disease. This affliction can stem from lack of proper hygiene, and is often more severe for people with underlying conditions that reduce the body’s resistance to infection.

3. Losing a Tooth

Some people think that losing a tooth is a sign of getting older, but it more often indicates advanced gum disease. Check with your doctor to be sure you aren’t showing early signs of osteoporosis, because tooth loss can occur when osteoporosis affects the jaw.

4. Bad Breath

Bad breath can certainly stem from dry mouth or food you consume, but sometimes halitosis signifies underlying health problems. Some of these conditions include liver or kidney disease, diabetes, sinus infections, or gastrointestinal issues.

5. Mouth Sores

If any unusual patches or lumps arise, be sure to see your dentist right away. These could either be benign canker sores or something worse, like an oral fungal infection.

6. Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can be attributed to a number of issues, the most common being hot or cold food and drinks. More serious causes are tooth decay near the gum line and periodontal disease. If you are experiencing severe tooth sensitivity, visit your dentist for a diagnosis.

7. Changes in Tooth Enamel

Enamel erosion can be a sign of an acid reflux problem. Stomach acids may damage the outside layer of your teeth, leading to tooth sensitivity and eventual tooth loss.

8. Dry Mouth

When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, your mouth can become dry and uncomfortable. Common causes of dry mouth include side effects of medications and dehydration, while more serious issues are diabetes, nerve damage, anemia, or autoimmune disorder Sjogren’s syndrome.

9. Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding during sleep can be causes by stress and anxiety. Dull, constant headaches and jaw pain are signs of nightly teeth grinding. Chronic teeth grinding can result in loosening or fracturing a tooth.

10. Stained Teeth

Tooth discoloration can occur from ingesting drinks like tea, coffee, or red wine, tobacco usage, and poor dental hygiene. However, there are several underlying diseases that affect the enamel and dentin of your teeth which can also lead to discoloration.