HOUSTON – Bad breath and bleeding gums are just a couple complaints that can reveal an unhealthy mouth.
An unhealthy mouth could indicate cancer or infections and on top of that, an unhealthy mouth can be very painful and uncomfortable.
Ideal Dental in Kingwood said there are four things you should never be ashamed to tell your doctor:
It may seem like a harmless offense, but Dr. Shalin Patel said that smell could be telling. Infection can hide under the gums where you cannot reach and will not go away unless you address the problem.
“If there's bacteria under the gum, it doesn't matter how much gum or how much mint you chew, the bad breath is going to continue constantly,” Patel said. “It's important that the cleaning is actually done to address it. There could be bacteria, anything else throughout the mouth that we can address. We can do a full mouth exam, we can look at the cheeks and make sure there's no other causes that are taking place at that point.”
Bleeding while brushing
“Bleeding and redness are the two most clear clinical signs of gum infection and that's an easy time to identify… if you're having bleeding, always going to see your dentist as soon as possible,” Patel said.
Bleeding can mean periodontal disease is lurking.
Don’t be afraid to ask
The hygienist will be looking for all of these illnesses during the exam and even if the solution is dental work that you're not ready to dedicate the time or money to, ask if the procedure can wait. Patel said some things may not be that urgent, but if it's going to cause pain, he'll tell you.
“What I can say with confidence is if you don't do it, it's only going to continue to progress into a bigger problem that could be more invasive and more expensive to fix in the future,” he said.
Don't be shy to ask about teeth whitening, some offices offer the service for free.