How to spot trouble Here is a quick guide to common dental problems. You should visit your dentist if you have these warning signs.
Bad breath that doesn’t go away
The cause might be gum disease, food, drinking, smoking, medicine you are taking or a health condition. If you cannot get rid of bad breath with daily brushing and flossing, see your dentist.
Your gums bleed when you brush or floss
If you just started to floss, a little bleeding is normal. But if you bleed almost every time you brush or floss your teeth, see your dentist.
For women, menopause may be the cause. It is also a side effect of many common medicines. It does not feel good and it can make dental problems worse. You need to tell your dentist if you have this problem.
A tooth that is a little bit loose
A loose tooth could be caused by gum disease or by a blow to the mouth. In any case, it is a serious problem. You should see your dentist.
A sore mouth
A sore mouth might be caused by false teeth that don’t fit well. It could also be from leaving false teeth in overnight. “Burning mouth syndrome” is a problem that affects some older women. Not eating the right kind of food may also be the cause.
Bleeding that you can’t explainMouth sores that don’t heal in 7 to 10 days
White or red patches in your mouth
Feeling numb or sore inside your mouth
These symptoms may be signs of oral cancer. See your dentist right away.
Teeth that are sensitive to:
Teeth can become sensitive all of a sudden, or it can happen over time. In most cases, this kind of pain means something is wrong. Check with your dentist
Scaling and root planing is a teeth cleaning above and below the gum-line all the way down to the bottom of the pockets of the teeth. The scaling part is when your dentist or hygienist removes all the plaque and tartar from your teeth and the root planing part is the smoothing out of your teeth roots to help your gums reattach to your teeth. For some, this deep cleaning, may take more than one visit to complete and may require a local anesthetic.
It is normal to have tooth sensitivity for up to a week as the gums are healing around the teeth after a deep dental cleaning. Your gums also may also be swollen, feel tender and bleed.
Your dentist periodontist will also schedule a follow up visit to see how your gums have healed and measure the depth of your pockets. If they have gotten deeper, more treatment may be needed.
Good dental care at home is essential to help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft brush, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, avoid using tobacco and see your dentist regularly.
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Flossing removes plaque and bacteria that you cannot reach with your toothbrush. If you don’t floss, you are missing more than one-third of your tooth surface. Plaque is the main cause of gum disease. It is an invisible bacterial film that develops on your teeth every day.
Within 24 to 36 hours, plaque hardens into tartar (also called calculus), which can only be removed by professional cleaning. Floss at least once a day, and plaque never gets the chance to harden into tartar. Getting into the habit of daily flossing is easier when you floss while doing something else like watching TV or listening to music, for example.
How to floss your teeth
Take a length of floss equal to the distance from your hand to your shoulder. Wrap it around your index and middle fingers, leaving about two inches between your hands.
Slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it into a “C” shape around the base of the tooth and gently under the gumline. Wipe the tooth from base to tip two or three times.
Be sure to floss both sides of every tooth. Don’t forget the backs of your last molars. Go to a new section of the floss as it wears and picks up particles.