Usually when you make a dental appointment, it’s for a cleaning or a toothache – but did you know that your dentist is also able to identify unusual oral health issues?
If you have symptoms of any of these seven problems, schedule a visit to your dentist’s office to receive treatment.
Odd Oral Health Issues Your Dentist May Be Able to Help With
Burning mouth syndrome
If you feel a burning sensation on your tongue, cheeks, and gums, you may have burning mouth syndrome. Experts aren’t sure why this condition occurs, but it can point to other health problems like shifting hormones, acid reflux, infections, and allergic reactions. Your dentist can help you with your symptoms and prescribe treatment for this problem.
Sometimes burning mouth syndrome is accompanied by dry mouth. This problem occurs when your salivary glands aren’t producing enough saliva. Many factors can cause this condition, including medications, smoking, alcohol use, dehydration, stress, and autoimmune diseases.
When you don’t seek treatment for dry mouth, you run the risk of developing further health problems. Your saliva is essential to proper digestion, so you may face gastrointestinal issues. Your mouth will be more prone to infections and sores, so you may experience tooth decay. Your gums can be affected, so you may lose teeth.
Other dry mouth effects may include sore throat, dry sinuses, and a hoarse voice. A lack of saliva can even deaden your sense of taste, and your overall quality of life may suffer.
Seek treatment from your dentist. They will advise you on your water intake, offer helpful suggestions, and prescribe medication if necessary.
Often called cold sores or fever blisters, these painful sores stem from the same source: the herpes simplex virus. These sores are quite common and contagious. First, the sore starts out with a tingling sensation in your lip. Then the sore swells and reddens while it grows into a painful blister. The virus can pass to another person with direct contact or by sharing utensils and drinking cups.
After one or two weeks, the blister heals, but the virus is still present in your body. Sores can reactivate due to sun exposure, stressful situations, fever, and fatigue.
Your dentist can prescribe treatment for future flare-ups. Several prescription medications are available to shorten the duration of the next outbreak. Some people find prevention and treatment in lysine tablets and ointments. Oral herpes is most treatable at the first sign of the problem. If you have a treatment from your dentist handy, your blisters won’t be as painful and prolonged.
If you have white spots, cracked mouth corners, or painful spots in your mouth, you may have thrush. This fungal infection occur in the mouth when people have an imbalance of the yeast known as candida albicans. After a round of antibiotics, this yeast can multiply too quickly, causing thrush to develop.
To deal with it, visit your dentist. They can prescribe an antifungal treatment to clear up your problem.
This condition is caused by a virus or bacteria, most often from poor oral hygiene. You may experience symptoms like tender gums and mouth sores with this disease. Your dentist can show you how to brush properly and rinse with antiseptic mouthwash, and may prescribe further treatment if the condition worsens.
Temporomandibular Joint Pain (TMJ)
If the temporomandibular joints on both sides of your head aren’t working (i.e. what you’d probably call your jaw), you will suffer pain when you open and close your mouth and when you speak, chew, or swallow. According to the American Dental Association, TMJ affects 15% of Americans and can be caused by injury, poor alignment, teeth grinding, a dislocated jaw, and arthritis.
Your dentist will examine your joints and muscles, looking for anything out of place. Your dentist may teach you strengthening exercises for your jaw, prescribe pain medications, or create a mouth guard for you to wear at night. You may be referred to an orthodontist if you need realignment.
Bumps and cysts
Harmless growths are fairly typical and should pose no threat as long as they heal within a week or two. Other bumps may develop when a tooth is abscessed or infected. In rare circumstances, a cyst may be malignant. If you chew tobacco or smoke, you face a greater risk for oral cancers. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment if you notice any unusual oral growths that don’t heal on their own.
Early detection is the key to treating every one of these oral health issues. Don’t hesitate to contact our office immediately if you see or feel anything unusual in your mouth.