4 symptoms of a poor oral hygiene

Oral health is essential to overall health and wellbeing. This is why it is important to keep it in check with good cleaning routines and preventive visits to the dentist to catch small issues before they get serious. Also, teeth are an essential part of your mouth and your smile. While you may have a pretty smile, there may be underlying issues to attend. There are a few symptoms to watch out for that may indicate your oral health needs attention: accumulation of plaque or tartar, bleeding or inflamed gums, bad breath and cavities.


If you start noticing plaque or tartar buildups around or in between your teeth (generally the lower front teeth) then it is time to visit your dentist for your next cleaning. The accumulation of plaque indicates that your brushing and flossing technique may need revisiting. Plaque is a white film that contains living bacteria. These, if not taken care of, will wear away your tooth enamel and heighten the risk of cavities. When plaque has calcified it is known as tartar, and it is not easy to remove with just brushing and flossing. You will need more specialized tools available only at your dentist. Tartar is dangerous because it irritates the gums and forms a protective layer for bacteria to grow in your mouth. Some people are more prone to accumulate plaque and tartar. It is very important to visit your dentist at least two times a year for a cleaning, and your dentist may recommend getting more cleanings a year if you require it. 

Bleeding or inflamed gums

Your gums should be pink and should not bleed if you touch or push them. Gums should also not hurt. If you notice they are red, swollen or if they bleed when you brush, then you may have gingivitis. This condition is also related to poor oral health and should be addressed sooner than later as it can turn into a more serious condition called periodontitis, in which gums recede and expose parts of your tooth roots. When roots are exposed, it means that your bone level has shrunk, and you may experience loose or falling teeth. Periodontitis is a nonreversible condition that can end up in losing all your teeth, which is why it is so serious and should be addressed in the earlier stages. While there may be other factors causing gingivitis, it is important to address them as soon as possible with professionals.

Bad breath

Its medical term is halitosis. There are many causes to it, but the most common is the decay of food particles in your mouth due to the presence of bacteria. It is caused by bacteria in your mouth and can generally be resolved with a deep cleaning and daily flossing. However, if your condition is chronic, it may be good to visit your health provider, as there are other medical factors that can influence the presence of halitosis like digestive disorders or dry mouth. If this is not the case, then brushing your teeth at least twice a day and daily flossing will solve the problem.


They are permanently damaged parts of your teeth caused by bacteria in your mouth. You know you have a cavity when you feel a small hole or opening in the surface of your tooth. This is where bacteria came into your tooth structure and started the decay process from the inside. Unfortunately, the main cause for cavities is poor oral health. It means that there was not enough cleaning done on that spot and bacteria were able to thrive there. Also, they are permanent, as the damage caused cannot be reversed except with restorative procedures like fillings or crowns. If you feel a cavity in one of your teeth, rush to your dentist, as the damage can become worse very quickly.

Oral health refers to the correct functioning of all tissues of your oral cavity, including teeth, gums and tongue. Oral health is primarily maintained through good oral hygiene as most problems can be prevented in this way. Do you think you might have any of these symptoms? Contact us now to get them worked on as soon as possible. We are a dental office located in San Jose, Costa Rica, and we offer an alternative to the prohibitive costs for dental care in the United States and Canada while you have a vacation at our beautiful country.

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