What Your Mouth is Really Saying About Your Oral Health

Everyone wants a healthy, great looking smile, but you can’t always tell how your oral health fairs simply by looking at your teeth and gums. Tooth decay, gum disease and cavities don’t always develop symptoms until far along in their progression. By the time you need to see a SW Portland dentist to treat the problem, you may have suffered permanent damage to your oral health.

While most people typically associate pain and discomfort with poor oral health, there are subtler signs that you may have a problem that requires the attention of your SW Portland dentist at South Waterfront Dental. Here are a few common signs that your teeth may not be as healthy as you think.

Chronic Bad Breath

While we’ve all experienced a case of dragon breath after eating something smelly like liverwurst and onion for lunch, chronic cases of bad breath could mean that something is wrong with your oral health.

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can act as a warning sign for gum disease. Failing to properly brush and floss daily can lead to a buildup of plaque and other oral bacteria on the surface of your teeth and along the gum line. A buildup of plaque can cause the gum inflammation that leads to the development of gum disease.

Funky fowl breath can also be the result of sinus issues or digestive problems, so it’s worth taking a trip to see Dr. Beck if your bad breath refuses to freshen up.

Whitish Tongue

As anyone who’s eaten a cherry popsicle can tell you, the tongue can change colors depending on what you eat. However, a healthy tongue should appear bright pink during those time between meals. But if you notice that your tongue typically appears whitish in color, your oral health could be worse off than you might initially think.

A whitish buildup on the tongue could be a thin layer of bacteria. Not only does the buildup of bacteria increase your risk for developing dental disease and decay, it also smells poorly and leads to bad breath.

Fortunately, caring for your tongue requires the same tool as your teeth – a toothbrush. Just spend about 30 seconds brushing your tongue when done with your teeth and you’ll keep the buildup of bacteria that transforms your tongue at bay.

A Food-Stained Smile

Depending on the space between our teeth, most of us will experience having food stuck between our teeth between meals. However, if you brush and floss like recommended by Dr. Beck but feel like there’s always food stuck between your teeth, this could actually be a sign of a hidden cavity between your teeth.

The most common place for cavities to develop in the mouth is actually between our teeth, so this is not at all uncommon. Fortunately, by spotting the problem early on you can avoid the need for an overly large filling to repair the cavity. You also lower the chance that more significant damage could occur that would require the need for a dental crown to repair.

Gums Bleed After Brushing

Despite what you may have heard, gum tissue shouldn’t bleed after brushing or flossing. In fact, bleeding gums rank as one of the most common signs for gum disease.

During early stage gum disease – known as gingivitis – gum disease becomes inflamed due to a buildup of plaque. This inflammation causes gum tissue to become red, swollen and to bleed easily, especially after brushing and flossing. If not properly treated, gingivitis can progress into the far more serious periodontitis, the leading cause of permanent tooth loss in adult.

Fortunately, gingivitis is easily treatable by Dr. Beck when caught early on. So if you notice blood when spitting out your toothpaste, you need to see your SW Portland dentist.