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Don’t Ignore These 5 Signs That Your Teeth Are Trying to Tell You Something

Your family dentist near Wasilla, Alaska, can help you stay focused on your oral health.

Parenting is full of demands. Whether you are a single, work-away, or stay-at-home parent or you have a supportive co-parent, there seems to be far more to do than what we have time for. And when we get busy managing kids and life, certain things can fall to the wayside. Essential things, like date nights, intimacy, world news, friendships, and self-care, seem to become a thing of the past when we aren’t careful. But when it comes to our needs and self-care, and more importantly, staying on top of our health, that’s just not something we can push aside.

Your mouth communicates with you every day!

It gets easy to push through that headache or toothache when we get uber busy. We might even notice another pain here or there and push it to the back of our minds, thinking it isn’t something we have time to deal with now. But ignoring our needs, especially those little signs our bodies give us, could be detrimental to our long-term and even short-term overall health.

Sometimes, we assume a problem in our mouth, like tooth decay or gum disease, is simply a cosmetic issue. But those little nuisances are more sinister than just a cosmetic inconvenience. Here are 5 things busy parents need to pay attention to and take action on if they occur.

1. Yellowing Teeth

We all want bright, white smiles, and yellow teeth can be frustrating and can certainly negatively impact our self-confidence. And though, in many cases, yellow teeth just come with age or result from excessive coffee or dark soda consumption, the root cause can be a bit more severe than that. Yellow teeth could be a side effect of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If you notice that your teeth seem a bit yellower than normal and you are also experiencing difficulty swallowing, chest pain, the sensation of a lump in your throat, or frequent regurgitation of food or drink, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. 

And if GERD and other health concerns are ruled out and your teeth are just beginning to yellow, why not treat yourself and your oral health to a cosmetic dentistry service such as tooth whitening? It’ll give you some time to get away and focus on just you, and your smile will benefit from it.

2. Gum Inflammation

No matter how busy you are, if your gums are inflamed, you need to seek medical or dental treatment as soon as possible. Typical symptoms that accompany gum inflammation include:

  • Bad breath that just doesn’t seem to go away
  • Gums that bleed easily after brushing or flossing
  • Dark red or dusky red-colored gums
  • Swollen, puffy, and/or tender gums
  • Receding gums 

Though there are many causes for gum disease, like poor oral habits and poor nutrition, it is essential to take steps to correct the problem. Failure to address gum inflammation and the resulting gum disease can contribute to more severe health issues, such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, stroke, and rheumatoid arthritis.

3. Recurring Mouth Ulcers or Canker Sores

Mouth ulcers can be excruciating, and this pain is not something you should ignore. Mouth ulcers that don’t go away on their own or those that keep coming back could be a sign of other more severe health concerns. In most cases, the causes of canker sores include stress, consumption of acidic foods, minor injuries to the inside of your mouth from brushing too hard or some sort of other trauma. But in other cases, mouth ulcers are caused by iron deficiency, celiac disease, or an allergic reaction to a food or medication. Getting your mouth ulcers checked promptly is a great way to help improve both your oral and overall health.

4. White Coating on Your Tongue 

Does your tongue seem to have a persistent white coating on it? This condition, sometimes referred to as white tongue (or more officially, candida), occurs when your tongue appears to grow a thick white coating on all or part of it. Causes for the condition include poor oral hygiene, a diet that is lacking iron or vitamin B12, a weak immune system, tobacco consumption, among other things. Patients with candida also commonly experience bad breath, mouth irritation, and a hairy tongue.

Thankfully, though the condition isn’t pretty to look at, it is usually harmless. That said, those with a white tongue should take steps to help the condition go away. The best way to treat candida is to:

  • Drink more water
  • Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush, being sure not to brush too hard
  • Use a fluoride mouthwash daily 
  • Drink cold beverages with a straw
  • Quit smoking and drink alcohol in moderation

The great thing about the above recommendations is that these are all things you can do to help take care of your oral and overall health, not just your white tongue.

5. Burning Sensation in Your Mouth

As a rule of thumb, if you are experiencing a burning sensation anywhere on your body, it is a good indicator that you should seek medical attention. Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is very painful and is often described by patients as a burning, scalding, or tingling feeling in their mouth that lingers for months. In many cases, patients also complain of dry mouth or a funny taste in their mouth. BMS can indicate there is damage to the nerves that control pain and taste. It can also be caused by tooth grinding or clenching from stress (bruxism), depression, hormonal changes, blood pressure medications, and oral yeast infections. 

Typical treatment involves identifying the root cause and treating from there. For example, if you are clenching or grinding teeth while you sleep, a mouth guard might be prescribed. If a medication is causing the problem, a prescription adjustment might be in order.

Don’t assume that minor pain is nothing. Visit your family dentist for help.

If you are feeling pain or discomfort in your mouth, now is the time to seek treatment from your dentist. Whether it’s seemingly minor or more glaring, it is important to take care of yourself. In fact, many experts would argue that you can’t fully care for your loved ones if you don’t care for yourself first. Taking the time now to treat a mild pain can help keep it from becoming more serious. Request an appointment today for your dental checkup. The future you will thank you.

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