The good news
You may not be experiencing any pain
The bad news
You could still have dental disease
What exactly is dental disease?
Dental disease includes dental caries (cavities), developmental enamel defects, dental erosion, and diseases of the surrounding bone and tissues of the mouth, throat and teeth (periodontal disease) and jaw.
Dental disease can impact every aspect of life. It can lower self-confidence and make it difficult to interact and develop relationships with others in school, work and personal life, and if not managed well, can also result in a negative financial impact. Dental disease can also have an impact on overall health, significantly increasing your chances of developing complications like heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and a host of other health issues. But it doesn’t have to. Dental disease is 100% preventable.
People often visit the dentist for a routine check-up and cleaning and are surprised to learn that they need treatment such as a filling, root canal, gum treatment or a crown, even when they are not experiencing any pain or sensitivity. This means, it is particularly important to have regular dental check-ups and cleanings for prevention or timely intervention – this also reduces the chances of emergency dental visits and unexpected costs.
Did you know, dental disease is more common than hay fever or asthma? Between 60-90 percent of school aged children and nearly 100 percent of adults have at least one cavity.
What are the main causes of dental disease?
- Poor oral care habits
- Frequent snacking on sugary foods and drinks
- Some medications
- Family history and genetics
- Certain infections, such HIV and AIDS
- Hormonal changes in women, including pregnancy
- Acid reflux
Symptoms of dental disease
Though, there are times when symptoms and pain from dental disease are not present, many times they are. Here are 10 common examples of symptoms to be aware of that could be caused from dental disease:
- Bad breath
- Pain or sensitivity in teeth or gums
- Bleeding gum when brushing teeth
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Receding gums lines
- Red or swollen gums
- Mouth sores
- Dry mouth
- Cracked or broken teeth (pain on biting /chewing)
- Brown, black or white staining on the surface of teeth
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please reach out to a dental care provider as soon as possible to address the issue(s).
How can you prevent dental disease?
You have the power to take control of your oral health. The number one way to prevent dental disease is by visiting the dentist every six to 12 months for a check-up and cleaning, paired with good oral health habits at home. Continue reading about the things you can do at home to support your oral heath here.