Ask any dentist and they will confirm that your oral health is like a window into your general health and well-being. While we all know about tooth decay and gum disease, here are a few uncommon oral issues that you might have to deal with one day.
The saliva we secrete is critical for good oral health and there are some medical treatments and medications that reduce the amount of saliva that we produce. Dry mouth is a major cause of halitosis, or bad breath, and it can also cause gum disease and tooth decay. Y
Oral thrush is a fungal infection that can affect people of all ages when yeast is produced in high numbers, and it commonly affects those with a weakened immune system, such as young children or the elderly. This condition can also be caused by wearing dentures or dry mouths and it is common to see white spots on the tongue and on the inner surfaces of the gums.
The two temporomandibular joints on either side of the jaw can become swollen, which makes it painful to bite and chew, and this condition can be caused by arthritis, incorrect jaw alignment, or as the result of an accident. Teeth grinding is another culprit for causing TMJ disorders, and if you are experiencing pain and discomfort on either side of your jaw, you should make an appointment to see your family dentist. There are even a few more uncommon oral issues that you might encounter.
Heavy tobacco and alcohol use are the main causes of oral cancer, but oral cancer only accounts for around 2% of cancer in the US. Symptoms include tender tissue in the mouth and redness and some swelling. It is critical to have an early diagnosis with oral cancer, which is one reason to have oral check-ups every 6 months.
Burning Mouth Syndrome
BMS is a very frustrating condition to have, and it occurs mainly with older women, which is due to a hormonal change. Symptoms include a burning sensation of the gums and tongue, and if you have such symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your local dentist and tell him or her about the problem. BMS can also cause a change in taste, so if you suddenly notice strange tastes when eating, this could be due to BMS.
It is very important to book a dental examination every 6 months, even if you have no oral issues, as this gives the dentist an opportunity to examine your mouth and look for any signs of issues. Some people mistakenly think they only need to visit the dentist when they are in pain, when in fact, regular oral examinations offer the chance for early intervention when an oral issue is discovered.