A look at some of the problems associated with the gums, cheek and tongue.
During your regular six monthly check up at the Cygnet Dental Practice, we not only examine your teeth, but the soft tissues of the mouth also. Some of these, specifically, the gums, have a direct impact on your teeth, whilst other area may indicate either possible issues with your teeth or even, potentially, oral cancers.
In today’s blog we take a look at these areas and what any unusual signs might potentially mean.
Gum problems are the most common soft tissue problem and most people will have some degree of gum disease during their lifetime. In many cases this will be resolved with better brushing and flossing techniques. Where this is not possible, intervention by the dental hygienist in the form of enhanced ‘scale and polish’ procedures will usually restore the gums to good health providing the problem has not become too advanced and in need of more invasive treatment. In the latter case, intervention by a specialist periodontist (‘gum dentist’) may be necessary.
Regular hygienist appointments at your Wickford dentists surgery are important to detect any gum disease symptoms early on. Failure to have your gum health monitored regularly may result in the onset of periodontitis which can damage the bone in the jaw, resulting in loose, or even lost, teeth.
Cheeks that are showing marks or are red and inflamed may indicate oral health issues. This may be caused by something as simple as teeth with rough edges scratching them. Where we notice this type of damage, we will examine your teeth for sharp edges that may be causing this and treat them accordingly. More unusual redness or inflammation may indicate possible oral cancer symptoms and we will refer you to your GP for further investigation.
The tongue can sometimes be affected in the above manner. Most of us have probably accidentally bitten our tongue at some point in our life and whilst this is painful, it usually rectifies itself with few problems, in time. Smokers may find that healing is much slower and could even lead to further infections, unfortunately fairly typical in the mouths of some smokers.
Whilst some marks, such as sores, may indicate something more serious and and warrant further investigation, one of the most common issues for patients is having a ‘furry’ tongue. In most cases this is relatively harmless and most likely simply indicates an excess of food debris or bacteria. This can be cleaned using a toothbrush or tongue scraper if you wish. A healthy diet, staying hydrated and cleaning your teeth and gums effectively will all help to reduce this.
If you are from the Wickford or Rayleigh area and haven’t had your mouth examined by a dentist for some time, appointments can be made at the Cygnet Dental Practice by calling us on 01268 733078.