What Your Dentist Wants You To Know About Your Teeth

shutterstock_221590798_croppedIt’s a given – we all know how important oral health is. Our teeth help us chew food for proper digestion and allow us to speak properly. They even give us that killer smile that helps us in our everyday interactions with each other. But, just like any other part of the body, the mouth can experience problems that can cause pain and discomfort. Problems in the mouth also may indicate underlying medical issues that a person may be experiencing.

Mouth Pain and discomfort

With 32 permanent teeth (incisors, canines, bicuspids, and molars), we’re bound to experience some occasional pain and discomfort in our mouths:
  • Cavities: We’re all familiar with this one. Cavities normally occur as an effect of poor oral hygiene, a poor diet, or even as a result of a dry mouth due to certain medications. When cavities go undetected or untreated, they cause pain because the hole created by the cavity exposes sensitive nerve endings in the tooth.
  • Fillings: Unfortunately, fillings don’t last forever. If they become worn or damaged, they can leave your tooth susceptible to tooth aches.
  • Teeth grinding: Many people unknowingly grind their teeth while sleeping, and some do it when they’re stressed or frustrated. All that grinding causes excess wear on teeth, which makes them more likely to ache.
  • Repetitive motion: Chewing gum or gnawing on your favorite beef jerky forces your jaw to work harder than it would if you were eating a normal meal. In turn, that can cause discomfort in your teeth and jaw.
  • Tooth sensitivity: Teeth can be sensitive to heat, cold, and even things like sugar. Exposing sensitive teeth to any of these factors can cause a sharp pain that makes it difficult to eat or drink.

Why your gums bleed

When you think of your mouth, the first thing that likely comes to mind is teeth, right? It’s easy to forget that other things in the mouth (like gums) are also essential to good oral health. Healthy gums help prevent tooth decay, and are the foundation for a healthy mouth. Sometimes your gums can bleed, which could be caused by:
  • Brushing technique: You may notice that your gums bleed occasionally while you brush your teeth. This may be a sign that you’re brushing your teeth too vigorously. Your gums are a very sensitive tissue, so try to slow down and be gentle. You may also want to look at switching to a toothbrush with softer bristles.
  • Gum disease: There are two forms of gum disease – gingivitis and periodontal disease. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue, which can lead to sore and bleeding gums. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can develop into periodontal disease. Periodontal disease moves below the gum line and can cause the gums to recede, breakdown of the bone supporting the teeth, and eventually tooth loss.
If you ever experience bleeding gums, you should take it seriously and consult with a dentist as soon as possible.

Your mouth can affect your overall health

Here at Elevate Dental Wellness, we recognize that your past, present, and future oral health can affect your overall health. Studies have shown links between poor oral health and diabetes, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s disease. We encourage you to take your dental care seriously, and visit a dentist regularly to ensure that your mouth is as healthy as it can be.

 

If you have any questions, or would like to visit with Drs. Van Gorden or Steinbach, please call us at 970-279-5647, or visit us at elevatewillits.com.