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Listen to Your Teeth: Five Things Your Teeth are Trying to Tell You…

Whilst it’s true that your teeth cannot talk, they’re actually surprisingly good at sending you signals. When teeth hurt, or you notice that something has changed with your teeth or gums, it’s generally your body’s way of letting you know that something isn’t quite right.

Understanding Messages From Your Teeth

Not quite sure what your teeth are trying to tell you? Here’s a handy guide, outlining the most common messages coming from your teeth and gums.

  1. Bleeding gums. If you’re pregnant or menopausal, it’s likely that your bleeding gums are a symptom of these hormonal changes. However, if neither of these apply to you, it could be your mouth’s way of telling you that you need to improve your dental hygiene. Generally, bleeding gums indicate a build-up of bacteria.

    To remedy the situation, focus on brushing your teeth thoroughly and flossing at least once a day. If this doesn’t stop the bleeding, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible, as it could be a sign of periodontal disease.

  2. Throbbing teeth. If you only experience the symptoms for a day or so, throbbing teeth are probably nothing to worry about. If, however, the pain goes on for over a week, it could indicate that you’re stressed; and are grinding your teeth as a consequence. Grinding teeth at night is fairly common, and you may find using a night guard helps.

    If, however, you notice that the gums surrounding the area of pain are swollen, this could indicate an abscess in your tooth. If in doubt, see your dentist.

  3. Staining or discolouration. Thankfully, staining and discolouration are never a sign of a serious problem, but generally indicate that you may want to make some changes to your diet and your dental hygiene. Drinks such as coffee and tea can stain teeth, as can smoking; and likewise, if you don’t clean your teeth properly, teeth can discolour over time.

    If you feel self-conscious about your staining, it may be worth exploring the option of cosmetic dentistry.

  4. Pain when exposed to heat or cold. If you find yourself wincing when you drink a hot coffee, or clutching your mouth when you bite into an ice-cream, you may have a problem with a cavity. Extreme sensitivity to cold or heat can also indicate that your gums have receded, thus exposing the roots of the tooth.

    There are other reasons why your teeth might be sensitive to temperature, and in rare cases, it can also be a sign of oral cancer; so it’s worth getting your teeth looked at by a dentist, just in case.

  5. Sores in the mouth. Often, sores in the mouth are the result of nothing more sinister that exposure to hot food or too many citrus fruits. However, if your sores remain for over a week, it is possible that you have a vitamin A deficiency. Focus on improving your diet; eating plenty of vitamin A-rich foods such as carrots and spinach; and if your sores don’t clear up, talk to your dentist about other solutions.

Listen to the Messages…and Stay on Top of Your Dental Health

As with any part of your body, it’s important to not ignore the messages that your teeth are trying to tell you. If you’re concerned about your teeth at all, book an appointment with Guiney Dental, your local Ballincollig, Cork dentist.


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