You’re probably aware of the basics of keeping your teeth and gums healthy: Brushing twice a day, flossing, and limiting your sugar intake. However, you may not know what to look out for in terms of dental decay or other serious mouth issues.

What are the early warning signs of dental trouble? A chronic toothache, food sensitivity, persistently sore or bleeding gums, lingering dry mouth, bad breath, and constant clicking or mouth pain are all red flags in the dental world. Learn more about these common symptoms and what you should look out for to prevent serious dental problems.

A toothache you can’t shake

If you’ve got a chronic toothache or a feeling of deep, dull, throbbing pain in your jaw, it could be a sign of a cavity. Other causes could be loss of tooth enamel or even gum disease. A toothache can make eating, talking, and even sleeping more difficult than usual, especially if it’s causing you a lot of pain and discomfort.

Don’t be fooled by at-home remedies or old wives’ tales for curing a toothache. They don’t work and may even make it worse! Tooth pain is a clear and present call to action to schedule a dental appointment.

Sensitivity to hot and cold

Do your teeth hurt when you consume hot or cold food and drinks? While some sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures is normal, severe reactions are a warning sign for dental trouble. The sensitivity might be caused by decaying or fractured teeth, fillings that need attention, or gum disease.

Some toothpastes can help relieve symptoms. However, if you notice a short, sharp pain in your teeth upon eating and drinking hot and cold things for more than a few days or a week, it’s time to see your dentist.

Sore or bleeding gums

Are your gums persistently sore or bleeding? Either of these symptoms could be an indicator of gingivitis, which is reversable with proper care. With poor dental hygiene, bacteria in your mouth can build up and cause inflammation, pain and sometimes, bleeding.

Regular brushing and flossing are usually recommended to reduce symptoms and reverse gingivitis. If you’ve been keeping up with your dental hygiene and still have constant pain or bleeding, it’s best you discuss it with your dentist. Sometimes, all it takes to address gum inflammation or soreness is a thorough cleaning by a dental hygienist.

Halitosis and dry mouth

Have you had a lingering case of dry mouth or halitosis (bad breath) lately? These symptoms are uncomfortable and embarrassing, and also a sign of dental trouble if they persist. Bad breath is caused, in part, by what you eat. But it can also be a symptom of poor dental hygiene and bacteria growth in the mouth.

Dry mouth can be caused by many things, including some medications and dehydration. However, in conjunction with halitosis, it could be a warning sign about your dental health. Ongoing dry mouth and halitosis could be symptoms of gum disease. Your dentist can tell you more after a thorough examination of your mouth and recommend products to combat both halitosis and dry mouth.

Clicking, popping or pain

A constant clicking or popping sensation in your mouth or jaw could be a result of grinding your teeth, arthritis, sinus issues, gum disease, cavities, cracked teeth, or a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). You may notice pain or tightness with the clicking or popping sensation.

Mouth, tooth, and jaw pain can be symptoms of a wide range of dental and medical problems, including tension headaches, osteomyelitis, or nerve damage. Plus, clicking, popping, or pain in your jaw or teeth can leave you very uncomfortable and make everyday activities challenging.

Don’t ignore your symptoms! Without treatment, they could get worse or lead to other health issues. Call your dentist’s office to make an appointment if these symptoms go on for more than a week or two.

Don’t skip your biannual checkup!

If you’ve got one, two, or all of these symptoms, it could be a warning sign of serious dental trouble. Living with chronic discomfort or pain is not sustainable, and even if you think you can grin and bear it, these annoyances will lead to even worse medical and dental conditions. Don’t hesitate to get your mouth checked out by your dentist if you’re ever unsure about the condition of your teeth or gums.

On that note, don’t skip your biannual checkup! Getting your teeth professionally cleaned and examined twice a year will help you prevent cavities, gum disease, toothaches, and other dental problems. A healthy mouth is a crucial component of your overall wellness! Call your dentist today! If you’re looking for a dentist in the West Hills area, give us a call and we would be happy to schedule you in! 🙂