When we experience some symptoms with our teeth, gums or mouth, we should always visit the dentist immediately for a check-up to investigate the cause. Unfortunately, many symptoms go undetected or ignored.
Even symptoms, such as bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, chipped teeth, toothache, unexpected lumps, and tooth discolouration can indicate further underlying issues that only your dentist can rule out.
As well as visiting your dentist for a routine checkup every six months (or however frequently your dentist advises), you should also be visiting us as soon as you notice any symptoms, no matter how big or small.
In this guide, we talk through some of the most common symptoms and what could be causing them.
Bleeding gums usually are a sign of poor dental hygiene, with the gums becoming inflamed and bleeding when there’s a buildup of plaque along the gum line. Unfortunately, bleeding gums are more common than you think, and are generally caused by gum disease.
Gum disease, which affects 3 out of 4 adults in the UK, is a leading cause of tooth loss. It occurs when plaque and tartar on the teeth build-up and the associated bacteria irritates and inflames the gums, causing them to recede, bleed and become sore.
As untreated gum disease can lead to infection and in some cases, tooth loss, it’s important to not delay visiting your dentist. Therefore, if you notice any changes in your gums, teeth or mouth, it’s critical to visit your dentist for a dental hygiene visit as soon as possible.
Sensitive teeth are typically the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots, and you may notice sensitivity more when eating hot/cold foods or drinks and even when brushing.
Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a number of different factors, however, most commonly by cavities, chipped teeth, worn fillings, or gum disease.
Sometimes, however, tooth discomfort is caused by other factors, such as a cavity, a cracked or chipped tooth, a worn filling, or gum disease.
If you’re bothered by sensitive teeth, visit your dentist. They can identify or rule out any underlying causes of your tooth pain. Depending on the circumstances, your dentist might recommend treatment or using specific dental products to aid the sensitivity.
Our teeth are able to withstand a lot of pressure and trauma over the years, however, this doesn’t mean that our teeth are completely invincible.
If you’ve noticed your teeth beginning to chip or crack, this may indicate something a little more serious, for example, cavities, trauma, teeth grinding (bruxism), poor hygiene, or biting down on extremely hard foods.
Leaving a chipped tooth untreated can expose the root of the tooth and eventually, result in a weaker tooth, leading to a higher risk of the tooth completely breaking. This means that, even if your tooth has slightly chipped due to eating hard foods, you should still visit your dentist immediately for advice and treatment.
Toothaches can range from slight discomfort, all the way through to unbearable, excruciating pain that you may require emergency treatment for.
A toothache can be caused by many different reasons, whether that’s a bacterial infection, infected gums, damaged filling, or even from the grinding or clenching of your teeth.
One very common cause of toothache is tooth decay, which refers to damage to the tooth when the enamel and other outer parts of the tooth are degraded and softened. Eventually, the tooth may be left with a hole, also known as a cavity.
This decay damages the structure of the tooth and has to be removed and filled to protect the rest of the tooth. If the decay is left to continue and spread, the tooth will not survive. Often the first stage of decay is plaque building up on the tooth. This plaque build-up, if it is not effectively treated, will lead to dental decay.
While some patients might be tempted to jump on the internet and search for toothache relief or ways to stop a toothache, you should visit a dentist if your toothache lasts longer than two days.
Unexplained Lumps in the Mouth
Unexplained lumps found in the mouth aren’t uncommon and may indicate irritation or injury, and can also be a sore or cyst.
While this is usually nothing to worry about, we still recommend continuing to have a check-up every six months to allow your dentist to check the health of your teeth, gums and tissues.
We advise visiting your dentist particularly if the lump is painful, doesn’t heal, makes it uncomfortable to chew or swallow, changes in size or appearance, or even has an odour. If the lump doesn’t go away within a week or two, you should visit your dentist immediately.
During a check-up, your dentist will also carry out a visual examination for mouth cancer – just to be on the safe side.
Stained teeth are a common issue that many of us face in our lifetime and can be caused by a variety of different factors. Tooth discolouration is a natural part of life, however, if you notice an unusual change in the colour of your teeth, you may want to visit your dentist as soon as you can.
Of course, tooth discolouration can be caused by poor dental hygiene, tobacco usage, foods/drinks and medications. With that being said, tooth discolouration can also be caused by some diseases and infections, which is known to be slightly more common in pregnant women.
Dental Checkups in Essex
At Perfect Smile Spa, we recognise how important a smile is to our patients which is why we pride ourselves on ensuring your teeth, gums and mouth are healthy at all times. We provide our patients with the most pleasant dental experience to enable them to overcome any fears and maintain their teeth for the rest of their lives.
Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our cosmetic dental treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.