Our mouths are somewhat of an enigma. Our teeth, gums and tongue can look perfectly fine and normal to us but have problems we don’t even realize are possible. After all, if we had a broken bone, a paper cut or a cold, we’d sure know about it. There are times, of course, when we can feel pain in our mouths, and that’s certainly a sign of a problem. But how do you know there’s a problem if you don’t experience any pain? The answer is pretty simple: You don’t. Thankfully, that’s what we have dentists for!
Take a look at your mouth in the mirror right now. What do you see? Does everything look and feel good to you? Well, that could be because everything is fine, but it’s possible there could be problems lurking within that you have no idea about. Here are just a few dental ailments that you may not be able to see just by looking in your own mouth.
Cavities are weakened, soft spots on the teeth caused by oral bacteria that eat away at the enamel of your teeth. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), cavities aren’t always visible to the naked eye. That’s why we take X-rays of your teeth. Thankfully, most cavities are easily fixable, but unless they are so severe that they are causing you pain, you may not realize they’re even there!
Gum disease is caused by oral bacteria that find their way into your bloodstream through your gums. Often people with gum disease might have bleeding gums during brushing, or their gums may appear red and inflamed. But sometimes gum disease is not visible to the naked or untrained eye. Furthermore, it sometimes requires more intervention than simply brushing in order to prevent it from worsening, which is something you may not realize unless you undergo a dental exam.
Having a dry mouth might not seem like a big problem, but the truth is, it can be. We need saliva to keep our teeth and gums moisturized and to wash away the bad bacteria that snack on the food particles left behind in our mouths after eating. If you have frequent dry mouth, you are at a higher risk of getting cavities and gum disease. Chronic dry mouth can be treated, but first, Dr. Morgan has to know about it, making your bi-annual checkup very important!
Sometimes the enamel on our teeth gets eroded. Whether it’s from eating disorders, genetics or diet, enamel erosion can be very damaging to the teeth. It can also be very difficult for you to tell if your own enamel has eroded, which is why regular visits to Dr. Morgan are so useful.
Are you a tooth grinder? Maybe you are and you don’t even realize it. Seriously! Many people who grind their teeth don’t realize they’re doing it, whether they do it in their sleep or while awake. This habit may not seem like a terrible thing, but it can be very dangerous.
Our teeth exert about 160 pounds of pressure per square inch, so when that pressure is applied to our other teeth, bad things are bound to happen. Those bad things include chipped, cracked or excessively worn teeth. So, while you may not realize you’re even grinding your teeth, Dr. Morgan can recognize the warning signs, work to repair any damage and help prevent new damage.
While not everyone’s wisdom teeth will become impacted or need to be removed, it can often come as a surprise to those who do have impacted wisdom teeth that they need them extracted. This is another reason it is of the utmost importance to visit Dr. Morgan twice a year for a checkup. Impacted wisdom teeth aren’t always painful, but they can cause a lot of damage, especially to the teeth that touch them.
Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, including the cheeks, lips and tongue. It can appear as white or red patches or lesions. It can be caused by sun damage, smoking, drinking, human papillomavirus (HPV) or for unknown reasons. Unfortunately, sometimes there are no warning signs or symptoms to alert you that you may have oral cancer. This is why an annual oral cancer screening is so important. It could literally save your life!
As you can see, there are many oral health problems you may not realize are present in your mouth. The best way to prevent and correct these problems is by visiting Dr. Morgan regularly for your bi-annual exam and cleaning. To schedule yours, contact the office today!