Your teeth may look healthy but 10 reasons why they may not be!

Not everyone pay attention to their dental health. But this can cause problems! Look out for these 10 signs of poor oral health.
signs of poor oral health
Pay attention to your oral hygiene! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Dr Karishma Jaradi Published: 8 Apr 2023, 12:00 pm IST
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‘Your smile is your jewel’ is a popular saying. Teeth are an integral part of this smile. While you may have the perfect smile, a perfect set of teeth may not always be the case. Even though your teeth may appear healthy, what may not be visible are the several underlying issues. So, you should be careful about signs of poor oral health. Tracking the symptoms can help you understand when your dental health needs attention.

Symptoms of poor oral health

Mentioned below are 10 symptoms of why your teeth may not be as healthy as they seem.

1. Tooth decay

Tooth decay is a result of harmful bacteria in the mouth. The acids that these bacteria produce attack the teeth’s enamel and dentin layers. A diet that is heavy on carbohydrates and sugar or a lack of fluoride in water may result in bacterial infection.

2. Cavities

Even if your teeth look healthy, there may be cavities present that are not visible to the naked eye. When the acid produced by the bacteria erodes the teeth’s enamel, tiny holes or cavities are created in the tooth. If cavities are not treated and ignored, they can spread to the deeper layers of the tooth, leading to severe pain, sensitivity, and even tooth loss.

signs of poor oral health
Gum or cavity-related issues may cause toothache. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Gum disease

Gum diseases are developed when the bacteria in the tartar and plaque build-up on teeth and gums. These result in swelling or inflammation, bleeding of gums and even tooth loss in some cases. While the early stage known as gingivitis will result in red, swollen, and bleeding gums, the next stage known as periodontitis can cause the gums to recede from the teeth, thus exposing the roots. This causes tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, infections and finally tooth loss.

Also read: 7 tips for stronger and healthy gums

4. Acid erosion

Acid erosion of the teeth occurs when the tooth enamel is worn away by acid. When acid comes in contact with the teeth, it softens and weakens the enamel, making the teeth more damage prone. Over time, poor teeth enamel can cause small indentations or pits on the surface of the teeth leading to tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and even cavities.

5. Dry mouth

A dry mouth is a result of a lack of saliva in the mouth. Consumption of medicines, the existence of medical conditions, or treatment side effects can result in dry mouth, which can lead to dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

signs of poor oral health
Dry mouth is symptom of poor dental health Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

6. Chipped or cracked teeth

Owing to an injury or an accident, the teeth can become cracked or chipped. While a chipped tooth is a small piece of enamel breaking off, a cracked tooth involves a crack or fracture in the tooth that may or may not be visible to the naked eye. These types of damage can weaken the strength of the teeth and lead to dental damage. Treatment for a chipped or cracked tooth depends on the extent of the damage. If small, it can mostly be repaired with a dental filling. If more severe, one must undergo a root canal and keep a dental crown to restore the tooth’s function and structure. In worse cases, the tooth may need to be extracted.

7. Bruxism

The condition in which people clench or grind their teeth, more often at night is called Bruxism. It can be caused because of stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders. The constant grinding and clenching of the teeth can lead to wear and tear of teeth, sensitivity, and even fractures. Wearing a mouth-guard or dental splint during sleep helps protect the teeth from the effects of grinding and clenching.

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8. Orthodontic problems

Orthodontic problems refer to alignment or positioning issues of the teeth and jaw. Crowded or misaligned teeth can make it difficult to clean the teeth properly, leading to a buildup of plaque and bacteria. Over time, this can cause tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems.

signs of poor oral health
Guard your teeth against these problems. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

9. Wisdom teeth

Even in the absence of no pain or discomfort, wisdom teeth can cause dental problems. When there isn’t enough room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to grow properly, they can become impacted, get trapped beneath the gum line, and thus be unable to emerge fully. This results in pain, swelling, and infection. Also, impacted teeth can grow in other directions and cause harm to neighbouring teeth as well the jawbone.

10. Oral cancer

Oral cancer can develop in any part of the mouth, including the tongue, lips, gums and throat. It can cause lesions or discoloration in the mouth and may not be visible to the naked eye.

Tips to maintain oral hygiene

Most dental problems are a result of a poor diet that is heavy in carbohydrates and sugar. To prevent problems related to teeth, maintain good oral hygiene practices including brushing twice a day and flossing regularly, eating a balanced diet, and visiting a dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. Some dental issues may not be visible to the naked eye and require a dentist’s expertise to diagnose and treat properly. Therefore, maintain good communication with your dentist and report any changes or concerns about your oral health to them.

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About the Author

Dr Karishma Jaradi, Head Dental Surgeon and an Implantologist, is in charge of the maintenance of the strict standards of care and professionalism at Dentzz Dental. She is synonymous with Aesthetic Dentistry in India. After practising dentistry for several years, she has outstanding skills & knowledge. Her practical skills and passion for excellence give her patients the kind of results they expect. ...Read More

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