Dentist Near Me
You’ve heard it said time and again because it’s true: good overall health starts in your mouth. The mouth can tell the story of what’s happening throughout the rest of the body and indicate the onset of certain diseases. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, 90 percent of all systemic diseases have symptoms that appear in the mouth. If you’re not sure how your oral health is measuring up these days, consider the following three signs that show you have a healthy mouth.
- Your gums are pink and firm. If gums are bright red, white, or swollen, they could be showing signs of gum disease (also known as periodontal disease, if you want to get technical). Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue, caused by the buildup of plaque, which forms when you don’t brush your teeth often or thoroughly enough. Gum disease is bad news for overall oral health because that bacteria can damage the integrity of gums, which hold teeth in place, as well as cause inflammation throughout the rest of the body.
Healthy gums will appear even, firm to the touch, and a consistent shade of pink. Any lesions, sores, or red areas that appear on the gums can also be signs of an infection or irritation. You may also want to check to see if your gums are receding from your teeth, which can be another indication of poor gum health. And, when you brush or floss your teeth? It shouldn’t cause your gums to bleed! Healthy gums that aren’t infected will be able to withstand the contact of regular flossing and brushing.
- Your breath doesn’t smell. While we all occasionally wake up with delightful “morning breath”, if your breath smells throughout the day even after you brush, it could be a sign of a rotting tooth, gum disease, or mouth sores. Chronic bad breath can also be caused by “dry mouth”, which is a real medical condition that leaves the mouth without enough saliva, which your mouth needs to wash away bacteria and prevent bad odor.
If you don’t brush or floss your teeth regularly, food particles will get stuck in the teeth and cause bacteria to multiply on the teeth, gums, and tongue. In addition to causing bad breath, unchecked bacteria can create toxins that irritate the gums. Persistent bad breath could also be a sign of other health concerns beyond the mouth, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, diabetes, and chronic acid reflux.
- Your tongue is smooth and even-colored. If your tongue is evenly pink, moist, and firm- good news! Your tongue is probably in good health. However, if your tongue seems swollen and inflamed, or showcases areas of bright red, it may be an indication of low iron, folic acid, or vitamin B12 – deficiencies that affect your overall well-being. If you spot white patches on your tongue, it can be a sign of a fungal infection, while a tongue that’s completely covered in white may have a yeast infection. If you take antibiotics or have an autoimmune disease, you may be at a higher risk for this type of yeast infection. You should also keep an eye out for any lumps or sores along the tongue, or occasional bleeding, all of which could be a sign of an infection or something more serious, like cancer.
The best way to know if you have a healthy mouth is to visit an oral healthcare professional on a regular basis. To schedule an appointment for your next evaluation, reach out to the trusted professionals at Allegiance Dental Associates.