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Posted Oct 04 2011 3:48pm

Oral health is something that all of us have been told to care about all our lives rightback from the time we were first able to hold a toothbrush. It’s a gateway to overallhealth. You might have dreaded the dentist’s clinics at least once in your life, haven’tyou? when you ventured out to get that horrible tooth extraction done. You even mighthave put up with the volley of verbal admonishment your dentist threw for not taking careof your teeth. That would have been annoying. However, it’s a fact that it is incrediblyimperative that you need to take good care of your teeth. There have been supportiveevidences which showcase the association of oral health with health conditions. It willbe harder for the rest of you to remain in pink health if your teeth aren’t healthy. It’snot an exaggeration to say that proper dental care can exactly save your life. Healthconditions like stroke, diabetes, premature birth, HIV/ AIDS and osteoporosis might havetheir beginning in your mouth before other areas of your body are attacked.

Moreover,even some bad habits can play havoc with your oral health too. Hence it pays to payconsiderable amount of attention to your teeth and gums.

So stay in sync to the subsequent 8 warning messages, and get the bothersomesymptoms checked out by your dentist:

Caveat-1 Tooth grinding. Ouch it hurts!!

It is seen that some people are tooth-grinders. Seems to be unbelievable? But it’s true.Some people surprisingly do this when they are in deep slumber and are oblivious of it.Researchers say that crunching and grinding teeth in one’s sleep is a common indicationof emotional or psychological anxiety. Be cautioned; do not take stress in your life lightly.Due to all this clenching you’ll see the flatness on your teeth, or you could even feelit with your tongue. Headaches are regular occurrence due to spasms caused to themuscles. You might feel agonizing pain in your jaw and sometimes the pain may radiate
from the mouth and head down to the neck and upper back. Look out for mouth guardswhich can be used in the nights to alleviate the symptoms and will protect your teeth too.

Caveat-2 Gum swelling. Sensation that would make you squirm

If you observe your gums actually growing over your tooth, and you take medicationsfor heart problems or convulsions or you take pills restrain your immune system, go andsee your doctor immediately. This could be a symptom of a brewing medical problem. A
swelling in the gums to where it covers your teeth serves as a wake up call to adjust themedication. Certain drugs can propel the growth of gum tissue which makes it hard tobrush and floss, stimulating tooth decay. In some cases the entire tooth can be coveredand the overgrowth may cause a peculiar, uncomfortable sensation.

Caveat-3 Potential aspiration pneumonia. Spic and span dentures.

So you thought dentures and pneumonia have no connection with each other. Holdit! Though they are words related to the world of the old and senile, they have a lethalonnection. A primary reason for the death of old people is due to aspiration pneumonia-caused by inhaling trash around the teeth and dentures. In aspiration pneumonia foreign
material is inhaled into the lungs causing hazardous inflammation. Many times it isseen that people who are under someone else’s care fall prey to this ailment. Denturesneed to be removed daily and cleaned thoroughly with a special brush, and stored in acleansing solution.

Caveat-4 Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) Crumbling enamel

Often older people are susceptible to cracking or crumbling teeth but it can take placewith people of all ages. In this the teeth becomes almost translucent and thin. Thedisintegration of the teeth is caused basically due to the acids that’s coming up fromthe stomach and dissolving them. GERD causes the stomach acid to reach up to the
esophagus. It is a chronic disorder depleting the natural barriers between the stomachand esophagus. If you have the problem of dry mouth, cracking enamel coupled withburning sensation in the heart you got to see a doctor fast to get treated for GERD.

Caveat-5 Lichen planus.

Lichen planus is a skin disease whose cause is unidentified. It is a mild disordertargeting men and women in the age group 30-70. Its first target is the mucusmembranes in the mouth. Lichen planus looks like a whitish, lacy pattern on the insideof cheeks Seventy percent of lesions appear in the mouth before they target other parts
of the body. Sometimes the ailment goes away on its own, but sometimes medication isrequired.

Caveat-6 Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes. How dry your mouth is?

There are many offenders for your dry mouth, right from dehydration to new drugs andsmoking. There are many drugs which have dry mouth as its side effect, including thosethat are engaged to treat depression, anxiety and asthma, incontinence, and musclerelaxants. However, lack of saliva in the mouth can be attributed to two autoimmune
disease- Sjogren’s syndrome and diabetes.

In Sjogren’s disease the white blood cells of the body assail their moisture-producingglands. In America almost four million people are infected with Sjogren, 90 percentof them females. Further, twenty-four million people in the U.S have type 1 or type2 diabetes. Diabetes is a metabolic disease caused by high blood sugar. In sjogrenthe eyes and the mouth are dry and the entire body is affected. In diabetes you canexperience excessive thirst, tickling in the hands and feet, frequent urination, indistinctvision, and weight loss. The symptoms people have in Sjogren are almost similar todiabetes, so they are often misdiagnosed and go several years before being properly

And here are two more bonus ones!

Caveat-7 Oral cancer. Sores that refuse to go away.

Some people out of a nervous habit have the tendency to bite their mouth. Otherssometimes bite the gum accidentally creating a sore. Danger bells ring if that soredoesn’t just go even after a week or two. It’s highly advisable you see a doctorimmediately. All of us damage our oral tissues, but if an area continues to stay in whiteor red instead of the healthy pink color, it needs weighing up to rule out oral cancer.
Smokers are six times more liable to develop oral cancer. Doubtful oral cancers tend tobe raised sores and often have red or white borders. They may lie in wait underneaththe tongue, where they are hard to see. Bleeding and numbness are also symptoms tosuggest the presence of the fearsome disease.

Caveat-8 Gingivitis.

People at some point or the other suffer from gum disease. It can vary from simple guminflammation, called gingivitis, to serious disease in damage to the bone. In gingivitisthe gums become red and inflamed. They are ever ready to bleed. If the ailment is notcured the gums could pull away from the teeth and create pockets of infectivity. There is
a threat that even your bones, connective tissues supporting the teeth could be seriouslydamaged. It’s worthwhile you seek your dentist’s help immediately. Remember an ounceof prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure.

Gums love being in a red inflamed state.


Shelly is a freelance writer with varied interests. She writes for Home Insurance among other sites.

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