10 Reasons Why You Should Visit The Dentist Regularly
Dentists are trained to spot oral health problems that you might not be aware of. Here are 10 oral health problems that you might not know about unless you visit the dentist:
- Gingivitis: Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that is caused by plaque build-up. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If not removed, plaque can harden into tartar, which can cause your gums to become irritated and inflamed. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, or bleeding gums.
- Periodontitis: Periodontitis is a more serious form of gum disease that can occur if gingivitis is not treated. Periodontitis occurs when the plaque and tartar below the gum line begin to destroy the bone and connective tissue that support your teeth. This can eventually lead to your teeth becoming loose and falling out. Symptoms of periodontitis include red, swollen, or bleeding gums, bad breath, and tooth loss.
- Tooth Decay: Tooth decay is caused by plaque acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth. Tooth decay can lead to cavities, which are holes in your teeth. Symptoms of tooth decay include toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, and visible holes in your teeth.
- Cavities: Cavities are holes in your teeth that are caused by tooth decay. Cavities can range in size from small to large, and if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Symptoms of cavities include toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, and visible holes in your teeth.
- Gum Disease: Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can occur if plaque is not removed. Gum disease can lead to periodontitis, which is a more serious form of gum disease. Symptoms of gum disease include red, swollen, or bleeding gums, bad breath, and tooth loss.
- Oral Cancer: Oral cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the mouth. Oral cancer can occur on the lips, tongue, cheeks, roof of the mouth, or floor of the mouth. Symptoms of oral cancer include a sore that does not heal, a lump or mass in the mouth, bleeding, pain, and difficulty swallowing.
- Leukoplakia: Leukoplakia is a white or pale-colored patch that can occur in the mouth. Leukoplakia is most often caused by tobacco use, but can also be caused by other irritants such as rough teeth or ill-fitting dentures. Leukoplakia is not cancerous, but can sometimes become cancerous. Symptoms of leukoplakia include a white or pale-colored patch in the mouth that cannot be scraped off.
- Thrush: Thrush is a type of yeast infection that can occur in the mouth. Thrush is most often seen in infants and young children, but can also occur in adults. Symptoms of thrush include white or yellow patches on the tongue or inside of the cheek, redness, soreness, or inflammation.
- Dry Mouth: Dry mouth is a condition in which there is not enough saliva in the mouth. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, cancer treatments, or Sjogren's syndrome. Symptoms of dry mouth include a feeling of thirst, a sticky feeling in the mouth, cracked lips, or a burning sensation in the mouth.
- Bad Breath: Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by a number of things including poor oral hygiene, certain foods, gum disease, or dry mouth. Symptoms of bad breath include a bad taste in the mouth, a foul smell coming from the mouth, or others telling you that you have bad breath.
If you suspect you’re experiencing any of these oral health problems, be sure to visit your dentist so that they can diagnose and treat the problem.