You may eat the best foods and have an active lifestyle but can crop up unexpectedly. As a result, most dentists recommend a biannual check-up to ensure that the oral cavity is free of serious dental problems and hidden medical conditions. However, irrespective of dental check-ups, it is a good idea to keep a close eye on your oral health. If you see any of these oral symptoms, get in touch with a dentist immediately for a complete dental and medical evaluation.
Symptom #1 – Ulcers That Do Not Heal
The oral cavity is filled with thousands of bacteria that can cause serious symptoms. Ulcers can occur due to a poor diet, poor oral hygiene, broken fillings, injuries, etc. Most ulcers also resolve with simple medications like topical creams and lotions or an improved diet. However, in some rare cases, ulcers persist no matter what treatment is provided and may even grow larger. These ulcers may be a sign of oral cancer, and they require aggressive treatment. As a result, keep a close eye on oral ulcers that persist for more than two weeks and get a dental and medical opinion immediately.
Symptom #2 – Popping or Clicking in the Jaw Joint
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is responsible for coordinating your lower jaw with the cranial or skull bones. However, changes in the dentition can affect the range of jaw motion causing the joint to move in different ways. This also results in facial pain, earache, headaches, dizziness, uncomfortable bite, clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint, soreness in the neck and shoulder, pain while chewing, difficulty in swallowing, etc. If you experience these problems, get in touch with a dentist right away to treat the problem. Ignoring the problem can cause serious long-term TMJ damage that may require surgical intervention.
Symptom #3 – Flat Teeth
Normal teeth have a bumpy surface that is coordinated with the opposing tooth surface. Look at your teeth in the mirror. Do they appear flat and without bumps on the surface? This may be because you grind your teeth, and the grinding motion has levelled the tooth surface making your teeth appear flat. Years of grinding teeth can result in teeth ground down to nubs, and this can cause serious problems like sensitivity and TMJ problems. Get in touch with your dentist immediately for expert help.
Symptom # 4 – Bleeding Gums
Everyone has mild gingival bleeding and a little spotting while you brush is normal. However, get in touch with a dentist if you experience the following symptoms:
Blood pooling in the mouth when you get up in the morning
Swollen friable gums that bleed at the slightest touch
Thick white pus oozing out from the swollen gums
Food impaction between the teeth
Gingival and periodontal problems are treatable, but you have to contact the dentist immediately to ensure that the treatment is started quickly.
Symptom # 5 – Sore and Painful Areas in the Mouth
Sore and painful areas are possible due to cheek bites, hot food and any number of other normal reasons. However, persistent numb, painful, sore and bleeding areas in the mouth require immediate attention to rule out oral cancer or other serious conditions.
Symptom # 6 – Loose Teeth
Teeth that move or fall out expectedly should elicit serious concern. It can be indicative of underlying bone loss, loss of gum support and even medical conditions like osteoporosis. If your teeth appear loose or move from their original position, get in touch with a dentist immediately.
When Should You Be Extra Vigilant?
With age, changes do occur in the environment of the oral cavity. Some patients may also have systemic conditions that are contributing to their poor oral health. However, any dental condition that does not resolve in two weeks requires extensive investigation, and you should check with your dentist immediately.