Signs You May Have A Dental Issues

Signs You May Have A Dental Issues

Published 29/09/2021

Last Reviewed 28/03/2024

fact-checked This article has been fact-checked

Oral health should be just as important as your overall health and an essential part of your well-being. Your smile not only is the first thing that welcomes strangers or new acquaintances in, but it can also be a sign of other health problems. Poor oral hygiene can lead to the more mundane like cavities, plaque buildup and other dental issues but has also been linked to more serious conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Oral health should be just as important as your overall health and an essential part of your well-being. Your smile not only is the first thing that welcomes strangers or new acquaintances in, but it can also be a sign of other health problems. Poor oral hygiene can lead to the more mundane like cavities, plaque buildup and other dental issues but has also been linked to more serious conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

There’s more to the picture than just brushing and flossing every day too. Visiting the dentist every six months at the least is essential to a happy and most importantly, a healthy smile. Doing so not only will make sure your teeth and gums are as healthy as can be, but will also ensure more costly dental procedures are mitigated if not avoided all together.

Even with these preventative measures however, there can always be dental issues that slip in between visits. These things can be mundane oral issues but also can be signs of more serious conditions. This is why we feel it’s important to be aware of potential signs you have a dental issue.

Signs You Need to See a Dentist

You should never wait to visit the dentist if you have a feeling something isn’t quite right with your teeth, gums, or throat and should always visit them twice a year to allow them to catch any problems that arise. If you are experiencing any of the following dental issues, you should make an appointment for the dentist as soon as you can:

Dental Issue Symptoms Of The Mouth

Most often, oral health issues are identified by symptoms experienced in the mouth. The most common ones include:

Bleeding Or Swollen Gums:

This may be the most common dental issue, but many people aren’t aware that your gums should not bleed when you brush or floss! This could be an issue of aggressively brushing or flossing, but also, could be an indication of gum disease or periodontitis.

Ulcers or Sores:

Tender areas in the mouth can be easy stomping grounds for bacteria to linger and can also be a sign of other more serious conditions like oral cancer. Additionally, if you’re wearing braces, it could also be a sign that a wire needs to be adjusted as it’s poking out, agitating your mouth.

Chronic Bad Breath:

Halitosis or chronic bad breath is different from the usual ‘morning breath’ or the bad breath you experience after eating garlic. Chronic bad breath can be a sign of decaying matter.  Also is unlikely to be resolved by home remedies. This symptom can result from cavities, gum diseases, throat infections, dry mouth or smoking. Sometimes it is an indication of serious health problems, such as diabetes, lung or kidney disease. In any case, chronic bad breath should be examined by a dental professional immediately.

Sudden Tooth Sensitivity or Toothache:

Tooth sensitivity and toothaches can be a symptom of many things, but commonly can be a sign of cavities or an undiscovered chipped tooth! Hot and cold food and beverages, cold air, cold water, sweets and acidic foods and beverages triggers or alleviates the pain in the affected teeth. A visual examination by the dentist, sometimes followed by an X-ray, helps diagnose the problem before starting the treatment. If there are not any major underlying dental problems, tooth sensitivities may be resolved by switching to toothpastes labeled for sensitive teeth, soft toothbrush and natural mouthwash.

Loose Teeth:

If you have lost all of your baby teeth, your permanent teeth should not be loose. It can be a symptom of a bigger oral health problem that needs prompt medical attention. Loose or shifting teeth may result from injury to the mouth. But may also indicate a periodontal disease. If it is a sign of gum diseases, other accompanying symptoms include inflamed gums, bleeding gums, and food sticking between teeth or around gums. If the problem is not diagnosed and treated on time, it may cause your tooth to fall out. Visit a dentist as soon as possible to assess what’s going on.

Dental Issues Symptoms Elsewhere In The Body

Oral health issues don’t always show up as symptoms in the mouth cavity. Sometimes, pain, discomfort or other problems appear elsewhere in the body. Some of them include:

Can Dental Issues Cause Sore Throat:

Sore throat, accompanied by difficulty while swallowing, swollen tongue, sensitivity to hot and cold food, red or white spots on the tongue, fever and sweating are symptoms of poor oral health. However, sore throat can also be an indication for other problems besides oral health. Viral and bacterial infections also cause similar symptoms. Contact a doctor to diagnose and treat the problem before it progresses further.

Can Dental Issues Cause Headaches:

If you’re having persistent migraines, one of the possible causes is a dental problem, especially if the headache occurs in combination with toothache or jaw pain. If cavities, cracked teeth, tooth sensitivity, pain or soreness in jaws is left untreated, the pain from the mouth can travel to the skull via temporomandibular joints (TMJs) which connect your jaws to the skull. Headaches that result from oral issues are called TMJ pains and can be treated by treating the core problem. Visit a dentist to identify, diagnose and treat the underlying problem and free you of the constant headaches.

Can Dental Issues Cause High Blood Pressure:

Periodontal diseases, including tooth and gum problems, can worsen blood pressure in people diagnosed with hypertension. According to research by American Heart Association, high blood pressure patients are more likely to benefit from their treatment if they maintain good oral health. If you are experiencing swollen, sensitive or bleeding gums, or toothaches, visit the dentist at the earliest to treat the symptoms. Good oral health is just as important as a low-salt diet, weight control and regular exercise in people suffering from high blood pressure.

Can Dental Issues Cause Dizziness:

Are you experiencing dizziness, feeling light-headed and losing your balance? One of the possible causes is an untreated root canal. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the nerves in your ears that control your balance. When these nerves are infected, your balance will suffer. Don’t delay a root canal since it will not go away with home remedies. The treatment is pain-free, so visit the dentist right away. The dentist may even prescribe you antibiotics. This will control the infection temporarily until the root canal treatment is completed. Once you seek medical attention, dizziness and all associated symptoms will be resolved.

Can Dental Issues Cause Neck and Back Pain:

If you’re experiencing neck and back pain, visiting the dentist to diagnose the problem might be the answer. Symptoms of dental problems aren’t restricted to your oral cavity. They can also show up elsewhere in your body.  Neck and back being one of them. Often, it can be a simple problem, such as grinding your teeth at night or snoring. Sometimes, it can be a serious condition that needs treatment.

Can Dental Issues Cause Weight Gain:

Though you might find it hard to believe, unexplained weight gain can sometimes be linked to poor oral health and dental issues. Poor oral health, resulting in painful chewing and swallowing, means foregoing healthy, crunchy fruits and vegetables.  Also means switching to processed food that is less nutritious and rich in fat and sugar, making weight loss difficult for you. Gum diseases, resulting in pain, make it harder to exercise. While diabetes, worsened by gum disease, also makes it harder to exercise and keep weight in check. Visit a dentist to resolve all the underlying factors before you can expect successful results from your weight loss regime.

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[Explanation regarding review process and fact checking.]

  1. Feller L, Blignaut E. Halitosis: a review. SADJ. 2005 Feb;60(1):17-9. PMID: 15861957.
  2. Kapoor U, Sharma G, Juneja M, Nagpal A. Halitosis: Current concepts on etiology, diagnosis and management. Eur J Dent. 2016 Apr-Jun;10(2):292-300. doi: 10.4103/1305-7456.178294. PMID: 27095913; PMCID: PMC4813452.
  3. Rosenberg M. Clinical assessment of bad breath: current concepts. J Am Dent Assoc. 1996 Apr;127(4):475-82. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.1996.0239. Erratum in: J Am Dent Assoc 1996 May;127(5):570. PMID: 8655868.
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