While technologies can help oral health specialists battle the majority of problems, prevention remains the most important weapon alongside timely diagnosis. That’s why it’s imperative to be aware of oral disease symptoms and spot them timely.
The most common oral diseases are:
- Tooth Decay
- Periodontal (Gum) Disease
- Oral Cancer
Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of these serious conditions.
1. Tooth Decay
More than 90% of adults aged between 20 and 64 have had dental caries in permanent teeth. Tooth decay is one of the most common health problems in the world. Thankfully, it can easily be fixed with proper dental care and timely visits to the dentist’s office.
The common symptoms of tooth decay are:
- Toothache — the pain can be different. It can occur sporadically or continuously. At the early stages, cavity-related pain is rarely acute. It may feel dull and become worse at nighttime.
- Tooth sensitivity — you may experience pain when brushing your teeth or eating/drinking something hot or cold. You could also feel a sharp pain when eating something sweet. Such sensitivity isn’t necessarily a sign of cavities but warrants a doctor’s visit anyway.
- Visible tooth damage — visible holes or pits in your tooth.
- Stains — black, brown, and white stains anywhere on the tooth can be a sign of caries.
- Pain — you can feel a sharp pain when biting on hard foods.
- Bad breath — foul breath even after you’ve brushed your teeth and flossing.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, call your dentist. By spotting the first signs of this oral disease early and acting upon them, it’s possible to avoid complicated treatment.
2. Periodontal Disease
Gum disease is a conniving problem. If not treated timely, it can lead to such serious issues as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and immune system problems. Almost 65 million Americans suffer from periodontitis, an advanced form of periodontal disease.
This inflammatory condition affects soft and hard tissues that keep teeth in place. Its symptoms include:
- Bleeding gums (during and after tooth brushing)
- Red and swollen gums
- Bad breath (even after brushing)
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth and tooth loss
- Changes in the way teeth fit together
- Pockets between gum and teeth
Periodontal disease is preceded by its mild form called gingivitis. By addressing gingivitis timely, it’s possible to prevent tooth loss and other serious consequences. You can prevent gingivitis with proper dental care.
3. Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is the least common of the three. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2021, 54,010 people will suffer from oral cancer. While it’s less common than other oral health issues, oral cancer is dangerous.
The symptoms include:
- White or red patches on the gums, tonsils, or other areas inside the mouth
- A lip or mouth sore that doesn’t heal for a long while
- A lump inside the mouth
- Mouth pain
- Problems with swallowing
- Continuous bad breath
- Weight loss
The good news is that oral cancer is treatable. The key to battling the disease is kicking bad habits (smoking, alcohol) and arranging regular visits to the dentist. A dentist can spot early signs of oral cancer before it becomes hard to treat.
While oral diseases are unpleasant, they are preventable. By following good dental habits and arranging timely visits to your dentist, it’s possible to enjoy top-notch oral health and avoid serious problems.
To learn more about oral disease treatment and prevention, don’t hesitate to contact us at any one of our office locations