We all want to have healthy teeth and gums to have an attractive smile, fresh breath and increase our level of confidence. But did you know that about half of adults have or have ever had halitosis (also known as bad breath)? It is one of the most common dental problems and also one of the most treatable. Some of the most common diseases affecting our oral health include tooth decay (caries), gum disease (periodontal) and oral cancer. More than 40% of adults report having had a sore mouth in the past year, and more than 80% of people will have had at least one cavity before their 34th birthday. Tooth decay is the most common dental problem that dentists see in patients.
Practically everyone, at some point in their life, has experienced tooth decay. It occurs when bacteria form a film, called plaque, on the surface of the teeth. Bacteria produce acids from sugars in foods which permanently corrode and damage the enamel, or outer layer, of the tooth. The acids then begin to act on the softer layer of dentin under the enamel.
Dental care begins with evaluating the extent of tooth decay and recommending a course of action. This may include fillings, crowns, or a root canal. The option chosen may be extraction followed by dental implants or dentures. You can help prevent tooth decay by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly (twice a day). Also, get regular checkups with your dentist to scrape plaque off your teeth.
Gingivitis is the mild, early form of periodontal or gum disease. It is a bacterial infection caused by plaque build-up. The most common symptoms are red, swollen, and easily bleeding gums. You may also experience bad breath and sensitive teeth that hurt when you chew. Skipping brushing and using poor brushing techniques can contribute to gum disease.
So can crooked teeth that are difficult to brush properly. Other risk factors include smoking, pregnancy, and diabetes. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. This occurs when gum pockets become infected which can cause damage to the bone and tissue that support the teeth, as they also become infected. Dental care for periodontitis includes topical antibiotics to treat the infection or referral to a periodontist, a specialist in gum disease.
Because the causes of bad breath are so varied, your dentist will conduct a thorough evaluation and prescribe the course of action that best suits your case. You may also have sensitive teeth because the enamel layer on your teeth is naturally thin. There are types of toothpaste and mouthwashes specifically designed for use with sensitive teeth. Your dentist may also recommend a fluoride treatment, a crown, a gum graft, or a root canal.
The treatment chosen depends on the severity of your case. Gum shrinkage can also be genetic, meaning the condition is inherited. Dental care for receding gums includes a thorough cleaning of the teeth by a dental professional. They may also show you the proper brushing techniques. Serious cases may need to be treated with a gum graft or other type of surgery. The base or root of the tooth can become infected and swollen with bacteria.
This most often occurs due to decay, cracks, or fractures in the tooth. Root infection can cause damage to the tissues and nerves of the tooth and eventually to the development of abscesses. A chronic throbbing toothache (long-lasting and persistent) is a sure sign of a root infection. Both chewing and biting will be painful, and the part of the mouth where the infection is found will be very sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages. In some cases, the area of the face surrounding the infection also becomes inflamed.
A root infection is treated using a root canal. And, although many of us shudder with fear at the thought of having a root canal done, the procedure is actually very safe and causes minimal pain since dentists use anesthesia while performing root canals. If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you should take better care of your gums. Also known as gum disease, this common dental problem is often the result of not flossing regularly. The accumulation of bacteria that cause plaque ultimately leads to the development of gingivitis or periodontitis, the early stages of periodontal disease. The good news is that periodontal disease can be treated over the course of a few dental appointments.
Deep dental cleanings will be required to remove plaque and tartar accumulated on and around the gums. This procedure may be painful for some people but it usually spans several sessions. One of the most common dental diseases is tooth decay which affects millions of children and adults around the world. The development of tooth decay is caused by not brushing your teeth after consuming substantial amounts of sugary and acidic foods and beverages which pierce through enamel allowing bacteria that cause tooth decay to flourish. Oral cancer can attack multiple regions of the mouth such as throat tongue cheeks lips etc. It may go unnoticed for a while especially if you don't visit dentist every six months as recommended.
This disease usually appears as swollen or tingling ulcer with red or white surface which may be caused by excessive smoking or by human papillomavirus (HPV). Your regular dental checkup should include an oral cancer screening test which involves examining all regions of mouth to detect early stages. If you have been diagnosed with oral cancer there are many treatment options available such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Regular visits to dentist will ensure that none these common dental diseases mentioned above go unnoticed. If you're experiencing later stages any these oral health problems your dentist will be able to provide best course action.