What are the symptoms of poor oral health?

Your teeth can last a lifetime but poor hygiene and unhealthy food choices can lead to poor oral health. Symptoms of poor oral health include spots on the teeth, bad breath, loose teeth or fillings, and sensitivity to hot or cold.

You can practice good oral health habits by regularly visiting the dentist, brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth with dental floss daily.

There are many symptoms of poor oral health that may not show up right away but eventually with time the symptoms can get worse.

  1. bleeding and/or painful gums from plaque and tartar build-up
  2. bad breath
  3. decay in one or multiple teeth that can cause sensitivity or pain
  4. infection that can cause pain
  5. loose teeth

The best way to avoid any of these symptoms is to practice good oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly to prevent problems from arising.


Consider any of the following symptoms to be warning signs that you are experiencing poor oral health:


  • loose teeth
  • persistent sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages
  • problems with your gums, such as swelling, tenderness, or bleeding when you brush and floss
  • a receding gum line that exposes too much of your teeth
  • bad breath
  • poorly aligned teeth

If you have any of these problems, see your dentists soon.

Because oral health is an indicator of body-wide health, dental issues can signal problems occurring elsewhere in the body. Teeth that become loose, sensitive, or misaligned need to be examined. Gums that are red, tender, or swollen; bleed when you brush or floss; or pull back from the teeth may be infected. Color changes in the gums and tissues of the mouth can indicate a number of health issues, both in the mouth and body wide. If you recognize any of these symptoms, schedule a visit with your dentist.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.