Many of us have been hesitant to go to the dentist over the past couple of months due to the Circuit Breaker measures. It can sometimes be easy to ignore minor dental issues however often they can be a warning sign of further issues in the future. As restrictions reduce, it is important not to put off coming to the dentist especially if you have symptoms that are affecting how you eat and drink.
Generally, bleeding gums is a sign of inflammation of the tissue around your teeth and can be an indication of early Periodontal Disease. Periodontal or Gum disease is a common and destructive oral health issue that results in the loss of the bone that holds your teeth in. It is often overlooked and unfortunately the loss of bone is irreversible, so early intervention is very important. Bleeding gums is often an early warning sign so if your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth please book in to see your dentist so we can assess and offer treatment, if required.
Tooth sensitivity is common but can indicate an issue with the inner aspect of your tooth. Generally, a short sensitivity to cold is not something to worry too much about. Sensitive toothpaste, using a soft toothbrush and minimizing dietary acids may help to reduce this. However, if the sensitivity is severe, lingers or is sporadic it is often a sign that treatment may be required.
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 can indicate an issue with the nerve of the tooth and prompt assessment can help reduce future problems or further pain.
Mouth sore or ulcer that won’t go away
Most ulcers and sores are harmless and are caused from some form of trauma. They are generally painful and usually heal within 1-2 weeks, however, changes to the tissues in and around the mouth that don’t resolve can be an early sign of oral cancer.
If something does not look or feel normal and isn’t going away, it is best to get it assessed so that we can make sure that the appropriate treatment is accessed as quickly as possible if needed.
If you have the smallest concern about a lump, sore or ulcer please book in now.
We are all excited that we are slowly getting back to normal but please do not put off seeing the dentist so the we can help keep your mouth healthy and free of pain.
Dr Jonathan Luke is a New Zealand trained dentist based at Smilefocus.
Call 6733 9882 to make an appointment.