Oral Health

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Our mouths are essential for speech, facial expression and communication. They also help us eat and drink for nourishment and control airflow when we breathe. So maintaining good oral health is essential for our general health and well-being. But it’s more than just our teeth and smile.

Like other parts of our bodies, our mouths are susceptible to disorders. Common mouth conditions include infections, ulcers, and halitosis (bad breath). Symptoms of other conditions, some serious, can also be exhibited through the mouth.

These conditions can have run-on effects on our daily lives, including self-esteem and performance at school or work. That’s why it’s important to seek medical care if you are experiencing any issues with your oral health.

Common signs you may have an oral health issue

By understanding the common symptoms of oral health issues, you can be better prepared to seek timely medical care. A doctor can diagnose your oral health issue through visual assessment and tests to determine an appropriate treatment.

Though symptoms are issue specific, there are some common symptoms we can look for in the mouth that point to an issue existing. These include:

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Discharge

If you experience any prolonged or worsening symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor.

What oral health issues do we treat?

You might be surprised by the wide range of conditions Bettr can take care of for you.

As long as it’s not a medical emergency, our doctors can help you with a wide range of health issues and healthcare services in the comfort of your home. For example, during a consultation, our doctors can help diagnose your issue, prescribe medication to treat acute (right now) symptoms and suggest lifestyle changes for long-term prevention where relevant.

Oral health issues we can help treat through Bettr include the following:

    • Bad breath
      Though often not serious, bad breath, also called halitosis, can be an embarrassing issue and cause us to be self-conscious around others. Fortunately, most bad breath is caused by poor dental hygiene, certain foods, or insufficient water. Smoking and alcohol can also dry out the mouth and cause bad smells. This means being aware of our oral hygiene habits, taking care of our teeth and being conscious of what we eat will often resolve any issues.

      However, if bad breath persists, you may choose to see a doctor to get to the root of your issue. Other less common causes of bad breath that your doctor can help you with include dry mouth, medications, infections and diseases. Other nose, throat or stomach conditions may also cause bad breath symptoms.

    • Tonsillitis
      Tonsils are two pads of tissue on either side of the back of our throats that are part of the immune system. Tonsillitis is when our tonsils become inflamed and is most common in children, though adults and teenagers can also get it. Tonsillitis is often caused by a viral infection, leading to swelling, a sore throat, and tender lymph nodes and can make it difficult to swallow.

      In patients with frequent tonsillitis, a tonsillectomy may be considered and your tonsils surgically removed. Rest and pain relief are common treatments for tonsillitis. However, if you or your child are experiencing worsening symptoms like difficulty breathing, an ongoing high fever or difficulty taking in fluids, you should seek the help of a doctor.

NOTE: Rheumatic fever can present the same symptoms as Tonsillitis. This is a very serious condition that can damage your heart or cause kidney disease. If you have a family history of rheumatic fever, or meet two of the following, please seek urgent medical advice:

  • Māori or Pacific ethnicity
  • aged 3 to 35 years
  • living in crowded accommodation or a lower socio-economic area

Many other conditions not on this list will also be fine for online support. However, if your doctor thinks you need a face-to-face consultation for further treatment, they will discuss this with you to arrange the best next steps.

See a doctor online with Bettr

If you or a family member are suffering from oral health issues, like the above, you can book an appointment with our doctors, who can often treat your condition online.

We offer same-day appointments and online prescriptions. There’s no app to download, no need to change GP and no registration; just immediate healthcare wherever you are. And should you become unwell because of an accident, we also offer ACC and injury care. Should you need a medical certificate, we can do that too.

Following your online consult, should you need to see a doctor face to face to treat your oral health issue, we can make it easy by referring you to one of our nearly 50 GP and medical clinics from Whangārei to Christchurch.

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