Oral hygiene isn’t something we consider too often. Aside from brushing our teeth and attending our biannual dentist checkups, we leave our teeth to look after themselves. However, that doesn’t mean that our mouth is in the best shape it can be. There are many reasons why you might have unhealthy oral hygiene. We’ll cover some common issues and warning signs.
Waiting until symptoms become serious is a mistake. If you go to your dentists twice a year, they should pick up on most problems before they cause any pain. However, some things can happen quickly. If you notice any of the following symptoms, book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
- Ulcers, cold sores, or other tender areas in the mouth that don’t heal within a few weeks
- Bleeding or swollen gums when brushing and flossing
- Chronic bad breath
- Sudden onset of sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages
- Toothache or pain
- Receding gums
- Pain when eating, chewing, or biting
- Jaw clicking
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Dry mouth
5 Causes of Dental and Oral Diseases
So, what are the five reasons your mouth is unhealthy?
Nicotine is notoriously bad for the health of your teeth. Smoke causes discolouration and poor gum health. Gums recede and struggle to heal as less oxygen gets into the bloodstream.
2. Bad Habits
It’s not enough to just brush your teeth twice a day. Brushing technique and flossing all come into the equation. Two minutes of brushing thoroughly twice a day is the best way to ensure you keep your teeth in top condition.
Moreover, sugary drinks, coffee, tea, or red wine can harm your teeth. Try to drink through a straw and rinse your mouth out with water afterwards.
3. Family History
Genetics plays a part in oral hygiene. Family background can influence your mouth structure, how susceptible you are to certain diseases, and also certain habits. It isn’t much you can do about your genetics. To mitigate gum disease or tooth decay risks, speak to your dentist about the steps you can adopt and ensure you’re extra vigilant about brushing and flossing.
4. Medical Conditions
Diabetes and other medical conditions are often responsible for specific mouth issues. People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop oral problems and gum diseases than others. High blood sugar levels in the bloodstream lead to more sugar in the saliva, which is the perfect condition for bacteria to build up. Bacteria causes tooth decay and gum disease.
Furthermore, certain medicines can dry your mouth out and further the risk of oral disease. These include antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, high blood pressure medications, and muscle relaxants.
5. Hormone Changes
Hormone changes might also impact the health of your mouth, particularly if you’re pregnant. Hormone changes can further the risk of gum disease and pregnancy tumours. Both are significant and need treatment straight away to avoid harming the baby. Pregnant women are also at risk of developing dry mouth (xerostomia), leading to plaque, gum inflammation, and tooth decay.
Moreover, pregnancy can cause behavioural attitudes that might hurt your oral hygiene. For example, food cravings may lead to more consumption of sugary foods. Morning sickness can make it hard to brush your teeth. Plus, the acid from frequent vomiting may be harmful.
Similarly, hormone changes during menopause might increase the risk of gum disease and burning mouth syndrome (BMS).
Types of Dental and Oral Diseases
There are different types of dental diseases. You’ll likely experience one of them within your lifetime, even if you’re extra vigilant about your oral hygiene. Types of oral diseases include:
- Gum disease (gingivitis)
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Oral cancer
Diagnosing Oral Diseases
If you approach your dentist with symptoms you’re concerned about, they will conduct an oral exam. They will inspect your teeth, mouth, throat, tongue, cheeks, jaw, and neck. They may also take an x-ray of your mouth or gum probe.
Treating Oral Problems
Even if you’re on top of your oral care, you’ll still need to attend regular checkups with your dentist. They will be able to point out any warning signs you haven’t noticed, offer treatments, and give advice about the general care of your mouth. Toorak Dental Studio provides general dental services, such as cleaning, replacements, and fillers to ensure your mouth is always in perfect condition.
A healthy smile will help your confidence. While you can’t protect yourself from every infection, maintaining good oral hygiene should prevent more serious diseases.