Oral Symptoms You Should NOT Ignore

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Oral Symptoms

Your mouth is sending an S.O.S while your next appointment with your dentist is six months away. How exactly will you know what can’t be ignored? There are some dental conditions such as puffy gums or bad breath that can be signs of gum disease while other symptoms like eroded teeth could be a sign of an eating disorder or chronic heartburn which is seemingly an unrelated health problem. Let us take a look at some of the oral symptoms which may not hurt, but they shouldn’t be ignored either.

Dry Mouth

Also known as xerostomia is a common oral condition, especially as you age. There are over 452 medications which have dry mouth as a side effect. But this oral condition can be related to issues beyond the dental health and its also a common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma and Sjogren’s syndrome. If you have chronic dry mouth, you should not ignore it and immediately consult with your dentist.

Mouth Sores

A white or red patch on the tongue, or the lining of the mouth is one of the most common signs of oral cancer. But you shouldn’t be alarmed since mouth sores are so common and the chance of the sore signs being cancerous is very low. To ensure safety, you should show your dentist any sores of the mouth that haven’t healed after two weeks.

Usually, the mouth sores from oral cancer tend to occur along with other oral conditions like pain when you swallow, a strange taste in the mouth, having trouble with speech and problems chewing.

Sour Taste In Your Mouth

If you experience a sour taste in your mouth frequently, which is often mistaken for bad breath then it could be as a result of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), especially if it is accompanied by chest pain, sore throat, and a hoarse voice. Apart from this oral condition and dental erosion, GERD can also lead to other problems such as an inflammation of the esophagus and an esophageal ulcer. If you suspect you have GERD, then get yourself tested and treated as required.

Swollen Gums

Swollen gums could be a sign of a gum disease. One of the old school remedies says to gargle with salt water and everything will be alright. Even if you believe you have healthy teeth, a swollen gum is an oral symptom that requires a visit to the dentist.

Your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to tell right away if you have a gum disease. You can also check for swollen gums yourself by drying your gums with a tissue or a napkin and looking in the mirror. Though the swollen gums may feel fine, they tend to bleed during brushing. This dental health problem also causes red gums.

Stinky Breath

Everyone experiences stinky breath at times. Along with brushing and flossing, include brushing your tongue or use of a tongue scraper and this should nip it in the bud, but if it doesn’t then it is considered a problem. It could be a sign of advanced gum disease and therefore, it is important to talk with your dentist before this oral condition ruins your perfectly healthy teeth.

However, most of the time the biggest bad-breath culprit is your diet. Garlic, onion and pungent spices will prolong mouth odour for hours after consumption. Additionally, people having uncontrolled diabetes, or who suffers from alcoholism or eats a high-protein diet tends to have breath with a sweet or fruity odour.

Conclusion

If your mouth is generally feeling fine, your dentist will recommend a regular appointment every six months. But if you experience any of the oral signs and symptoms mentioned above, don’t wait, contact your dentist right away because most oral health problems have a better outcome when they are addressed quickly and properly.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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Allyson James is a writer and surgery researcher. She graduates from New York Medical College. She helps not only with the application of treatments but also with advising and recommending appropriate services. She has written a number of articles on Eye surgery, Dental implants, and cardiac surgery. She is contributing to Indian Health Guru

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