Along with brushing and flossing everyday, and seeing your dentist twice a year, part of maintaining good oral health is taking the time to open wide in front of the mirror to self-check your mouth for any irregularities. While we don’t encourage self-diagnosis, you are on the front lines and are usually the first to know if something looks or feels wrong. Here is what to look for:
Look for signs of gum disease:
- red, shiny, puffy, sore or sensitive gums
- regular bleeding when you brush or floss
- bad breath that won’t go away
Look for signs of oral cancer:
- bleeding or open sores that don’t heal
- white or red patches that appear
- numbness or tingling
- small lumps and thickening on the sides or bottom of your tongue, the roof of your mouth, the inside of your cheeks, or on your gums.
If you discover any of these signs, do not self-diagnose or stress and be sure to schedule a check-up so your dentist can make an official diagnosis. If you are experiencing any oral pain however, be sure to call their office right away.