When it comes to oral hygiene, the two main components that you need to watch closely are the teeth and gums. It is easy to take the roles they play for granted, at least until you start experiencing pain and discomfort. Even when you experience problems that may seem small, like some yellow stains or sore gums, it is important that you investigate what the problem could be, and rectify it as soon as possible to avoid serious complications in future.
Some common dental complaints include:
1. An achy tooth
An achy or throbbing pain may not necessarily mean that something is wrong if it goes away in a day or two. But if the pain persists, it may be an indication that you are clenching or grinding your teeth. Seeing a dentist can help you manage the pain by getting a customized mouth guard. If the pain is accompanied by swollen glands or gums, the problem could be an abscessed tooth or root infection. To know the exact cause of an achy tooth, you should visit your dentist.
2. Sharp tooth pain
A sudden pain in one or more teeth when eating or drinking may be an indication of tooth decay or cavities. These holes in your teeth are created when bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar you consume (from your diet) and convert it into acid. If the decay gets deep enough, you may experience tooth sensitivity when biting down. If the pain occurs occasionally, and is not confined to only one spot, there’s no need for alarm. But if it is consistent for a week or more, it is best that you visit your dentist.
3. Yellow or stained teeth
Fortunately, stained teeth are rarely a sign of serious dental concerns. The tint is caused by some foods and drinks, like wine, coffee, or tea. Smoking and the use of antibiotics, like tetracycline, can also cause brown stains. The problem is fairly easy to address using whitening toothpastes or in-office whitening procedures. But it is best to prevent staining by rinsing or brushing your teeth after consuming such foods or drinks.
4. Loose teeth
If one of your teeth suddenly becomes loose or crooked, or it falls out, it could be an indication of a big problem. Your teeth can loosen because of gum disease, which results in bone loss around your jaw and teeth. Periodontal disease is caused by the buildup of plaque, due to improper brushing and flossing and failure to get professional cleanings. If you notice loose or crooked teeth, contact your dentist immediately.
Another oral concern worth mentioning is soreness in your mouth. Soreness caused by consuming too much spicy fare, citrus, or very hot food should disappear in a couple of days. But if it persists, it could be due to a serious vitamin A deficiency. This can be addressed by eating more carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes.
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