5 signs that you should visit your dental hygienist
March 5, 2019
You may think that your pain or sensitivity is “normal”, but it could be a sign of a larger problem. Even if it does just go away sometimes, you still should never ignore it. Pain and sensitivity is our body’s way of communicating with you that there is an issue. Catching these problems earlier may save you a tooth, or even your overall health!
1- You are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
Sensitivity is not normal. When your enamel is healthy, it is strong and can protect the sensitive under layers of your teeth from feeling temperature changes. Sensitivity could be a sign of a bigger issue, including cavities from erosion and decay. This is not something to ignore, so make sure you let your hygienist know about sensitive areas so they can take a closer look.
2- Your gums bleed frequently
Our body has a whole series of systems in place to protect and heal itself. This includes fighter cells in our blood. When bacteria is discovered, our body sends these cells through our bloodstream to fight it off. When our gums become bothered, tender and red, they may bleed as they are trying to fight and heal from the constant attack from bacteria. Swelling is caused by the increased blood flow to the area.
Dental plaque is what builds up on our teeth and why we go to see a dental hygienist to get it removed. Plaque is basically a film of bacteria, which can harden into tartar if left on our teeth for long enough and not brushed or flossed away. The tissue around the teeth will be attacked by the plaque, and cause them to swell up and become inflamed trying to fight it off. When poked at (with floss or a toothbrush), this tissue is now very sensitive and bleeds easily.
Bleeding gums can be an early sign of gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. Do not ignore your bleeding gums, and make sure you get a cleaning to help support your body’s immune system!
3- You struggle with bad breath
Bad breath is another sign of bacteria wreaking havoc in your mouth. Bacteria feeds on food particles in our mouths and excretes smelly compounds that make that “bad breath” smell. Though there are medical conditions that also cause bad breath, most cases of bad breath can be solved! As mentioned above, plaque is bacteria, and if that plaque is present on your teeth, then there is bacteria producing smelly compounds. Scraping plaque and tartar off the surfaces of your teeth will keep bad breath at bay.
4- You have a toothache
If you are experiencing a strong toothache anywhere in your mouth, you could have a dental infection, or an abscess. Infections are caused by harmful bacteria, and may be acute or chronic in nature. Bacteria that is left to thrive in the tight spaces in our mouth causes a lot of problems!
When an abscess becomes serious, you may also be experiencing a fever, throbbing pain in your neck, or even facial swelling. These infections should not be left to “clear up” on their own, they require urgent emergency dental treatment. Because of its proximity to your bloodstream and brain, the infections can easily spread from your tooth. Gone untreated, an abscess could also lead to bone loss in the jaw, which will lead to tooth loss down the road. Though Citizen Dental Hygiene is not always equipped to handle these situations, there are many emergency dental clinic in the area that can. If in doubt (and lots of pain), head to your nearest emergency department.
5- You have no concerns at all
Yep. You should still be seeing your oral health care professionals regularly (every 6 months) for cleanings to keep things that way! Preventative oral care is the most affordable and healthy way to take care of your teeth. Staying on top of your cleanings and getting regular check ups with a dentist, you can solve problems before they lead to irreversible damage.