If you brush your teeth twice per day and you floss occasionally, you may assume you’re in relatively good oral health. However, that isn’t always the case! Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you determine whether you’re good oral health, or if it is time to pay a visit to your dentist.
1. How is the color and firmness of your gums?
Ideally, your gums should be pink and firm to the touch. On the other hand, if your gums take a different color or texture, it could be a warning sign regarding your oral health. Redness, inflammation, or even gum recession could indicate periodontitis is harming your gum tissue. Paleness of the gums, conversely, could be a result of anemia. All in all, if they don’t look normal, it is always a good idea to have them looked at.
2. How often do you floss?
It is important that you floss at least once a day, though after your meals too would be even better. Food particles and bacteria often get trapped between your teeth and gums, leading to infection or even tooth decay. Therefore, flossing daily is critical for protecting your oral health.
3. When you floss, do your gums bleed?
Bleeding gums should never be ignored. Gums don’t often bleed simply from brushing or flossing. Instead, gingivitis—an infection of the gums and first stage of gum disease—is the real culprit. Gingivitis is the easiest stage of this progressive disease to treat, so the sooner you get yourself to the dentist, the better.
4. Are your teeth hypersensitive?
If you find it difficult to eat hot or cold foods, it could potentially be a bad sign for your oral health. Hypersensitivity often occurs as a result of tooth decay, as this wears away the outer protective enamel and indirectly exposes the pulp within. This dental pain can also result from gum disease, as the recession of your gum tissue could leave the nerve of your tooth open to heat and cold. Ultimately, hypersensitivity is tough to ignore, and should be addressed by a dentist!
5. Are your teeth relatively white?
A number of oral health issues can lead to tooth discoloration, including tooth decay, tartar buildup, gingivitis, tobacco usage and more. If your teeth are yellowing or even have serious discoloration, it could be a sign that you’re due for a check-up.
6. How often do you visit the dentist?
Can you remember the last time you’ve visited the dentist? According to the American Dental Association, you should be scheduling an appointment every six months! This will allow your dentist to screen for diseases like oral cancer and gum disease, as well as provide a thorough cleaning that removes plaque and tartar from your teeth to improve your oral health. If you’d like to ensure you’re in good oral health, calling your dentist is your best next step.
To schedule your next dentist appointment, call College Drive Dental Associates in Palos Heights today!