Over-indulged on cakes and pies this festive season? Head’s up: Flossing Day falls on November 26 this year, so it’s a good chance to examine your own dental health!
You may have been hesitant to go to the dentist over the past several months due to the Covid-related measures. Even during “normal” times, it can be easier than not to ignore minor dental issues – especially if you’re “too busy” or perhaps not a fan of going to the dentist in the first place.
As restrictions lessen, it is important not to put off going to the dentist, especially if you have any symptoms affecting how you eat and drink. We’ve rounded up a few common dental problems you should definitely take note of here.
1. Bleeding gums
Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation of the tissue around your teeth and can be an indication of early periodontal disease, or gum disease. It is a common oral health issue that can result in the loss of the bone that holds your teeth in.
Unfortunately, it is often overlooked, and since the loss of bone is irreversible, early intervention is very important. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, it’s a sure sign to go see the dentist.
2. Sensitive teeth
Also prevalent, tooth sensitivity can indicate an issue with the nerve of the tooth. Generally, a minor sensitivity to the cold is nothing to worry about. However, you should see a dentist if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Sensitivity to heat
- Severe cold sensitivity
- Tooth pain that is sporadic or affects your sleep
- Sensitivity to sweet food (like chocolate)
- Pain on biting
All of these symptoms – especially if the sensitivity is severe, lingers or is sporadic – can potentially be alleviated with a prompt assessment. Likewise, sensitive toothpaste, using a soft toothbrush and minimising dietary acids might also help to reduce sensitivity.
3. Mouth sores or ulcers
Most mouth ulcers and sores are harmless and caused from some form of trauma. They are generally painful and usually heal within one to two weeks. However, changes to mouth tissues that don’t resolve can be an early sign of oral cancer.
If something does not look or feel normal and isn’t improving, it is best to get it assessed so that the appropriate treatment can be accessed as quickly as possible if needed. If you have the smallest concern about a sore or ulcer, definitely visit your dentist.
Last updated by Sabrina Ng, November 2021
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