4 Alarming Symptoms of Bad Oral Hygiene

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Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. It’s no surprise‌ that poor oral hygiene can lead to a host of health problems. From cavities and gum disease to more serious conditions like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, the implications of neglecting your oral health are significant.

While most people are aware of the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene, a recent UK dental hygiene survey (seen here) found that 39% of adults aged 25-39 brush their teeth less than once a week. 

So what are the consequences of poor oral hygiene? Here are some of the most alarming symptoms of bad oral hygiene:

1. Pus and Bleeding Around the Gums

Pus around your gums is a sign of infection, which could show many conditions, including gum disease, cavities, or oral thrush. Cavities are the most common infectious disease in children, and they can cause serious health problems if left untreated.

Oral thrush is a yeast infection that can occur in anyone, but it’s especially common in infants, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. People with diabetes are also at an increased risk of developing oral thrush. While cavities and oral thrush can both be treated with medication, gum disease requires more aggressive treatment.

In its early stages, gum disease is known as gingivitis, and it’s marked by inflammation of the gums. If it’s left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, which is a more serious form of gum disease.

Periodontitis affects the tissues and bones that support your teeth, and it can lead to tooth loss. Besides bleeding gums, periodontitis can also cause bad breath, painful chewing, and loose teeth.

2. White Spots on Teeth

White spots on your teeth are usually a sign of tooth decay. Plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth, causes tooth decay. If plaque isn’t removed, it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist.

If you have white spots on your teeth, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible. Besides white spots, tooth decay can also cause cavities, which can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.

3. Painful Chewing

Painful chewing can be a sign of several conditions, including tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). TMJ is a condition that affects the joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. Besides pain while chewing, TMJ can also cause jaw pain, headaches, and ear pain.

If you’re experiencing pain while chewing, it’s important to see a dentist to rule out any dental problems. If your dentist determines that you have TMJ, they may recommend treatment options such as over-the-counter pain medication, physical therapy, or surgery.

4. Mouth Sores

Several factors, including viruses, bacteria, allergies, and trauma, can cause mouth sores. The most common type of mouth sore is a canker sore, which is small and round with a white or yellow centre. Canker sores are not contagious, but they can be painful.

If you have a mouth sore that lasts longer than two weeks, or if you have multiple mouth sores, it’s important to see a dentist. Sometimes, mouth sores can be a sign of cancer, so it’s important to get them checked out.


If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible. These symptoms can be a sign of a serious condition that requires treatment. 

Hive, a dental accountants business in Cornwall, UK created the UK dental hygiene survey. 

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