Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. It’s no surprise that poor oral hygiene can lead to a number of health problems. From cavities and gum disease to more serious conditions like heart disease, stroke and diabetes, the implications of neglecting your oral health are significant.
While most people are aware of the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene, a recent UK dental health survey (seen here) found that 39% of adults aged 25-39 brush their teeth less than once a week.
So what are the implications of poor oral hygiene? Here are some of the most concerning symptoms of poor oral hygiene:
1. Pus and Bleeding Around the Gums
Pus around your gums is a sign of infection, which can indicate many conditions, including gum disease, cavities, or mouth ulcers. Cavities are the most common infectious disease in kids, and can cause serious health problems if left untreated.
Oral thrush is a yeast infection that can occur to anyone, but it is particularly common in babies, the elderly, and folks with compromised immune systems. Diabetics are also in increased risk of developing oral thrush. While cavities and canker sores can be treated with medicine, gum disease requires more aggressive treatment.
In its early stages, gum disease is known as gingivitis, and is characterised by inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, it can develop into periodontitis, which is a more serious form of gum disease.
Periodontitis affects the tissue and bone that support your teeth, and can cause tooth loss. Apart from bleeding gums, periodontitis can even cause bad breath, pain when chewing, and loose teeth.
2. White Spots on Teeth
White spots on your teeth are normally a sign of tooth decay. Plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth, causes tooth decay. If plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar, which only a dentist can remove.
If you have white spots on your teeth, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible. Apart from white spots, cavities can even cause cavitieswhich can cause serious health problems if left untreated.
3. Painful Chewing
Painful chewing can be a sign of several conditions, including tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ). TMJ is a condition that affects the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. In addition to pain when chewing, the TMJ can even cause jaw pain, headaches and earaches.
If you experience pain when chewing, it is crucial to see a dentist to rule out dental problems. If your dentist determines that you have TMJ, they may recommend treatment options such as over-the-counter pain medicines, physical therapy, or surgery.
4. Mouth Sores
Several factors, including viruses, bacteria, allergies, and trauma, can cause canker sores. The most common type of canker sore is canker sore, which is small and round with a white or yellow center. Canker sores aren’t contagious, but they can be painful.
If you have a sore mouth that lasts more than two weeks, or if you have plenty of sores in your mouth, it is important to see a dentist. Sometimes, canker sores can be a cancer sign, so it is important to get them checked.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is crucial to see a dentist as soon as possible. These symptoms could be signs of a serious condition that requires treatment.
Nest, a dental accountant a business in Cornwall, UK conducts a UK dental hygienist survey.