How do I know if I have good oral health?

A dental mirror held up to teeth.

Having sound oral health is essential to good overall health. Paying attention to your mouth also has lifetime benefits. You won't need dental visits as often, and you get to lower your dental costs.

Seeing your dentist allows you to understand your mouth better and find out how well you're taking care of it. Routine dental examinations and checkups assess the condition of your teeth and gums. But before that, here are some indicators you can check for good oral health.

  1. Gums don't bleed. Aside from your teeth, your gums also need care and attention. The gums shouldn't bleed when you floss or brush. If your gums are too sensitive, the culprit can be gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, progresses silently. Ignoring symptoms and delaying treatments can lead to loose teeth that may eventually fall out. Your dentist can check for signs of gum disease during your routine dental visits.

  2. Gums are pink and firm. Gums secure the teeth. They hug the teeth snugly and keep them in place. If your gums look reddish due to bleeding and you notice that they're pulling back from the teeth or receding, this can be another sign of gum disease. Gum recession can be caused by various factors, including poor oral hygiene, aggressive brushing, and smoking. It cannot be grown back, but you can slow it down and correct it with the right dental procedure.

  3. Teeth aren't sensitive. Healthy teeth aren't sensitive. But enamel erosion can make them sensitive to changes in temperature. You may experience discomfort or pain when your teeth come into contact with certain foods or beverages. This can keep you from enjoying your meals and eating a wide variety of foods. Heightened tooth sensitivity can be the result of exposed tooth roots or enamel abrasion. Enamel is the protective layer of the tooth. Losing it exposes the nerve endings. Identifying the root cause is critical to determining the right treatment for sensitive teeth.

  4. Breath smells pleasant. Breath can smell in the morning or after eating food with a strong flavor. But if the unpleasant smell stays even after cleaning your teeth, an underlying issue, such as dry mouth or stomach problems, might be causing it. Unpleasant-smelling breath can make you extra conscious and avoid social interactions. If making lifestyle changes still doesn't change anything, see your dentist or healthcare provider to check if it's related to a health condition. They will advise you if you need to see another specialist for further assessment.

  5. The teeth feel smooth. The teeth should feel smooth. There should be no debris or deposits accumulating on their surfaces. Tartar can lead to decay and cavities later on. Rough and textured enamel is one sign you may not be giving your teeth a proper clean. Routine dental hygiene cleanings prevent this from happening. Once plaque hardens, it can only be removed at the dental office using special instruments.

  6. There are no signs of decay. Maintaining good dental hygiene habits reduces your risk of developing cavities or decay. If your teeth are clean and there are no brown spots, discoloration, or holes, that can indicate they're in great shape. Decay can lead to intense toothaches. If you often experience pain in your mouth, see your dentist for a comprehensive evaluation. They can find out if it's related to decay or another dental problem that requires immediate treatment.

  7. Teeth are strong and functional. If you can bite down on chewy, hard, or crunchy food without experiencing pain or sensitivity, that can be a sign you have good oral health. Your teeth don't feel sensitive when you bite into anything cold or sip a warm beverage. There are no jagged edges that injure your tongue or cheeks when you speak or eat. There are no spaces between teeth or signs of decay. These can all mean that you're taking good care of your mouth.

Do you need a dental checkup in Kanata, Ontario?

Is there something in your mouth that you want a dentist to check? You might be experiencing recurring pain or seeing irregularities, such as sores or lumps that won't go away.

Our team of dental professionals at Centrum Dental Centre has been providing dentistry services in the Kanata area for over 25 years. You and your family deserve positive dental experiences, and we're here to help you achieve that.

To schedule your routine dental checkups and examinations in Kanata, ON, contact us at (613) 519-3999. It's never too late to request an appointment with the dentist and get started improving your oral health.