You don’t need to search for a “dentist near me” to find that practicing quality oral hygiene can have a significant impact on your oral and overall health. Many doctors and dentists agree that the mouth acts like a window into a patient’s general health. That’s because a variety of serious health issues can first manifest symptoms that impact an individual’s oral health. This makes your oral health like a barometer that can accurately predict what’s going on with your overall health. So you can better understand the signs and symptoms that might indicate a bigger issue, here are five gum-, tooth- and tongue-related issues that could indicate a much larger issue is lurking beneath the surface.
Persistent Bad Breath
In addition to making conversations uncomfortable for your friends and colleagues, persistent bad breath could also be an early sign of gum disease. Early stage gum disease, a condition known as gingivitis, causes no discomfort or other easy to identify symptoms, making it hard for most people to even realize they suffer from the disease until it has progressed into the far more serious periodontitis. Fortunately, preventing gingivitis is fairly easy. Just make sure to spend more time brushing and flossing daily.
Bleeding, Swollen or Red Gums
If you continue to suffer from bleeding or swollen gums no matter how well you brush or floss, you may actually be dealing with diabetes. Patients with diabetes have a higher risk of developing infections like those caused by gum disease. So, if your gum problems continue and you also notice other symptoms of the disease like increased hunger or thirst, blurry vision or fatigue, you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately.
Unexplained Tongue Pain
While eating a hot slice of pizza or accidentally biting your tongue are just some of the reasons why you might experience temporary discomfort, prolonged tongue or throat pain – a period lasting for longer than two weeks – is one of the most common early signs of oral cancer. If you’re suffering from persistent oral discomfort, make an appointment with our team at Advanced Family Dental for an oral exam. During your exam, our Lakewood dentist will assess the current state of your oral health and will check for any lesions, lumps or sores that may serve as an indication of oral cancer.
Sudden Oral Lesions
If you suddenly develop small white spots around your lower molars, you might have a viral infection you need to deal with. Referred to as “Koplik spots,” these tiny sores rank as a highly predictive sign of measles. Add additional symptoms such as runny nose, cough and fever, and you may just be on the brink of developing an unfortunate measles rash.
Significant Tooth Discoloration
While a change in tooth color can often be the cause of drinking too much coffee or tea, the problem can also indicate a more significant issue than a caffeine addiction. If your teeth have transformed into a brown or black color, it could mean you’re suffering from a deep-rooted tooth infection. To correct this issue, you may need to have a dental filling placed to protect the tooth from further decay, or a root canal if the infection has spread and is threatening the long-term health of the tooth.