You need to visit the dentist regularly – your dentist will advise you on how often!

If you have any concerns about your oral health you should contact a dentist.

Common oral health complaints:

Ulcers
Ulcers can be due to many factors. There are medicated mouthwashes that you can buy which can speed up the healing process, however, ulcers should heal naturally within 2 weeks.
If you have a persistent ulcer or lesion in the mouth that does not disappear after 2 weeks you should speak to your dentist.

Cold sores (herpes simplex virus)
These are normally small blisters that form on/around the lips. The first sign that you are developing a cold sore may just be a tingling or itch.

The virus may live dormant for many years but may be triggered by many different factors i.e. fatigue. The virus is highly contagious and can be transferred via skin-to-skin contact, in rare cases the virus can be passed during oral sex with someone with genital herpes.

Cold sores should heal on their own within two weeks, but antiviral creams are available and these may help to speed up the healing process.

Bad breath (halitosis)
Bad breath can develop after having certain food or drink i.e. onions, garlic and tea/coffee. It can also be a side effect of smoking and can be the early signs of tooth decay/gum disease.

Dry mouth can also lead to bad breath so try to stay hydrated at all times. Mouth washes and chewing gum may help, in addition to an effective oral hygiene routine.

Tooth staining
Smoking and certain food and drinks can lead to tooth staining ie. red wine and coffee. In addition some mouthwashes (those containing chlorohexidine) can increase the risk of staining especially if taken alongside tea, due to the tannins.

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