Everyone knows to visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. But when you experience any of these symptoms you should consider making an appointment right away.
1. Loose Teeth
This can be an indication of gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria. Left untreated, it can advance into periodontitis and put your teeth in jeopardy.
2. Temperature Sensitivity
A reaction to hot or cold foods may be a sign of decay in a tooth, a loose filling or an exposed root surface resulting from gum recession. It can also indicate cracks in a tooth’s enamel.
3. Bleeding Gums
Seeing blood after brushing or flossing could be a sign of an infection. Seek treatment before it develops into gum disease.
4. Sores, Bumps & Lumps
If you notice an unusual lesion or mass that lingers and won’t seem to heal, it may be a sign of oral cancer. Your regular checkup should include a screening, but you shouldn’t wait for that if you have an area of concern.
5. Chronic Bad Breath
The things we eat and drink can occasionally cause bad breath. However, if you find yourself with persistent halitosis, it could be an indicator of gum disease.
6. Dry Mouth
There are a host of different causes for mouth dryness. Everything from dehydration to allergies to side effects from prescription medication. But it can also be a sign of more serious diseases.
7. Cracking or crumbling teeth
Disintegrating teeth are typically a consequence of stomach acid dissolving enamel. This is more common in older people but it can happen to anyone and is usually a sign of damage to the esophagus.
This is not a complete list. Contact your Oral Care provider for additional information. 3M Oral Care does not provide dental advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Norman Medina DDS, graduated from Loma Linda University Dental School in 1994. He has been practicing dentistry in Midcoast Maine since 1994. He and his wife Lanita have four children.