Common oral issues that can damage your teeth and health

Infections in the mouth happen more often then you may realize. Improper hygiene, vices and physical contact are just some of the causes. Being aware of what’s going on within your mouth can save major health problems down the road from common oral issues.

Some of the simplest causes of problems are also the easiest to take care of.

Tooth decay:

Also called dental carries or cavities. Your teeth break down due to acids that are caused by bacteria. If you have pain while eating, pits in the tooth surface, or dark marks in the tooth; chances are you already have cavities. See your dentist right away to have it be a minor fix.

Regular flossing and brushing along with dental cleanings and checkups can help prevent this from occurring in the first place.

Gingivitis: 

Gingivitis is caused by plaque that becomes attached to your tooth surfaces. It causes your gums to get red and irritated. Left long enough it will cause them to bleed. Regularly going to your dentist for a cleaning is important as they will remove the plaque for you.

Better yet, practice good oral hygiene, especially flossing to make sure the areas your brush can’t reach get properly cleaned. Don’t ignore gingivitis as it will progress to a more virulent strain of gum disease. Isn’t five minutes a day worth the investment to avoid the pain this could cause?

Gum Disease:

a.k.a. periodontal disease, this one makes your gums more inflamed than gingivitis and affects the tissue around your teeth. The tissue pulls away from the tooth leaving pockets where particles can get trapped, causing an infection. If you have ignored your gingivitis before, do not let this one pass. If you are having troubles with your gums, you should visit your dentist immediately.

Once again, good oral hygiene, brushing and flossing, can help prevent this becoming a problem.

Cold Sores:

young man showing cold sore - Poor blood sugar control can cause slow healing, especially or cold sores

a.k.a. oral herpes is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are names for every herpes infection that occur in your body. Oral herpes is the very visible infection that occurs on your face or in your mouth. If your lip starts itching or maybe you already have fever blisters, chances are good this is a cold sore. Cold sores may take two to four weeks to disappear. While the cold sore is present, you’ll probably feel pinching-like pain at the affected area. Herpes will usually let itself show for a period of time with some active cases, but it will also decrease depending on severity. There are medicated creams that can help speed the process of healing the outbreak. Herpes is not limited to cold sores so watch out for unexplained fever, swollen lymph nodes, muscle pain and headaches as the first symptoms to be concerned about.     

Keeping your lips from drying out by using a lip balm daily can help prevent these breaking out, but discuss options to control them with your doctor or dentist if you get them frequently.                                                                                 

happy smiling tooth at dentist

Taking care of your oral health is simple and easy. Brush after meals and before bed and floss once or twice a day. There are many electric toothbrushes that can help make this a light task. There are also many aids to make flossing less of a bother as well. Regular dental checkups and cleanings should also be a necessary part of your routine.

Call us at 587 317 4161 or click here for more information or here to contact us.

 

 We’d be happy to help put you back on the road to a healthy, happy smile.

Download our Getting Started With Your Child’s Oral Health – A Parent’s Guide for tips and ideas to start your child on the road to a happy, healthy smile.

Gingivitis


Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss? Is it sore or outright painful when you eat? Do you have bad breath that mouthwash doesn’t cover up? Are your gums red or purple and swollen? Do they feel squishy, like a gummy bear? Do your gums look like they are receding? It’s very possible you have gingivitis.

What is Gingivitis?

gingivitis

Gingivitis is an inflammation of tissues around the teeth (also known as your gums or gingiva). When it first starts, you may not even notice it. It is the very early development stage of “Periodontitis”. The gums become red and painfully swollen at this stage. Eventually it gets to the point where is causes bleeding when you floss or even brush your teeth. It can also cause sleepless nights with an aching mouth.

How to know if you have gingivitis?

These are the symptoms of gingivitis that will help you know if you have one:

  • Swollen and Red Gums
  • Frequent Gum Bleeding
  • Receding Gums
  • Halitosis or Bad Breath
  • Fever (Early Stage)
  • Malaise
  • Pain
  • Bleeding on Tooth Brushing

What are some causes of gingivitis?

Poor oral hygiene is a primary cause of gingivitis. Bacteria build up around your gum line, causing a sticky plaque to form on your teeth. If you don’t remove it, it hardens into tartar which in turn irritates the gums, causing them to inflame. This is why adequate brushing and flossing is required!

Did you know that regular smokers get gingivitis more often than non-smokers? Harmful substances such as nicotine and tar from cigarettes (or chewing tobacco) get introduced into the body. It should be no surprise that these can cause stains on teeth, halitosis, gum problems, oral thrush, cancers, cavities or tooth decay, etc. Nicotine also interferes with how our body responds to bacteria as it impairs thebody’simmune functions.

Hormone changes during puberty, menopause and the menstrual cycle can also cause sensitivity in the gingiva.

Pregnancy is another possible cause. As stated by PubMed.gov, ovarian hormones such as estrogen and progesterone rise at this stage causing pregnant women to be more likely to experience gingivitis. It is said that gingivitis generally occurs to 60-75% of pregnant women, but if they practice good oral hygiene in the beginning of pregnancy, the rate will only be 0.3%.

Nutritional Deficiency is also a possible cause. Lack of good nutrition can affect one’s health causing various health problems including gingivitis. Vitamin C deficiency is linked to gum disease (think scurvy).

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) leads to a higher risk of gingivitis. Having HIV is a serious matter, it reduces the immune system’s effectiveness which affects all the body systems. The mouth will be a good indication if you have an immunodeficiency through observing it. At an early stage of HIV, several symptoms will show up especially in your mouth.

  • Dryness of Mouth & Cavities
  • Oral lesions
  • Thrush
  • Gum Disease/Gingivitis
  • Hairy Leukoplakia (A condition causing white lesions, or patches, on the tongue)
  • Periodontitis
  • Oral Cancer

These symptoms might give you a sign whether you have existing HIV or not. But, the most effective way in knowing such is to get tested and you’re off to go. Getting tested is far more reliable than doubting yourself.

Medications may also lead to gingivitis. Drugs like anticonvulsants, calcium channel blockers, and immunosuppressants can cause gingival overgrowth. Make sure that the next time you visit your dentist, you mention ALL medications and supplements you are (or were) taking.

Diabetics have to be even more careful. If you’re diabetic and you accidentally brushed your teeth hard, you could cause your gums to become inflamed or swollen. Because you have high levels of blood glucose, it can take significantly longer for your gingivitis to heal. This is because  decreased blood circulation makes it hard for the body to repair wounds. If you are diabetic and suspect gingivitis, you should seek medical assistance right away.

Stress is linked to suppressing the immune system which will affect the general functions in the body which can lead to gum disease.

How do you treat gingivitis?

  • The cure starts within you. Always make to brush your teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and at night. Be smart in choosing toothbrush as their textures could differ.
  • Soft bristled toothbrush is highly recommended. When brushing your teeth, don’t scrub too hard as it will irritate the swollen gums and may cause bleeding.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months.
  • Flossing is also a good way to deep clean your teeth and gum line.
  • Stop smoking. This is a very important advice for all smokers, your oral health is not just in danger, you are prone to lung cancer and other health risks.
Good dental hygiene is necessary
Good dental hygiene is necessary

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is critical. It sounds like such a simple thing, but it can be one of the easiest things to help ensure good health.

As part of proper oral hygiene, visiting your dentist every 6 – 9 months is highly advisable. If you have multiple factors affecting your risk of gingivitis, it may be recommended that you come more often.

If you have any of the symptoms listed above or feel like something has changed with how your mouth feels, come in and see us. A check-up and cleaning may be all it takes but we’ll be able to put you on the path to proper oral care.

Call us at 587 317 4161 or contact us here for more information or to book an appointment today.

If you would like to find out about choosing a dentist, download ‘THE SMART CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO How to Make Sure You Choose the Right Dentist’ here.