Oral diseases are caused by a variety of modifiable risk factors that are common to many non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as the consumption of sugar, tobacco, alcohol and lack of hygiene, and their underlying social and commercial determinants. We all want healthy teeth and gums for a winning smile, fresh breath and an increase in 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. Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, is the most common dental problem dentists see in patients.
Practically everyone, at some point in their life, has experienced tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria form a film, called plaque, on the surface of the teeth. Bacteria produce acids from the sugars in food that permanently corrode and damage the enamel, or outer layer, of the tooth. The acids then begin to act on the softer dentin layer that lies beneath the enamel.
Dental care begins with evaluating the extent of tooth decay and recommending a course of action. This can include fillings, crowns, or a root canal. The option chosen may be extraction followed by dental implants or dentures. You can help prevent cavities by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly (twice a day).
In addition, have regular checkups with your dentist to scrape the plaque off your teeth. Gingivitis is the mild, early form of periodontal or gum disease. It is a bacterial infection caused by plaque buildup. 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 tobacco use, pregnancy, and diabetes.
If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. This occurs when the gum bags 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 perform a full evaluation and prescribe the course of action that best suits your case. You can 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 fluoride treatment, a crown, a gum graft, or a root canal. The treatment chosen depends on the severity of your case. Gum retraction can also be genetic, meaning the condition is hereditary. Dental care for retracted gums includes a thorough cleaning of the teeth by a dental professional.
They may also show you 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 swell with bacteria. This happens most often due to cavities, 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.
Chronic throbbing toothache (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 drinks. In some cases, the area of the face around the infection also becomes inflamed. A root infection is treated with a root canal. And while many of us shudder in fear at the thought of having a root canal performed, the procedure is actually very safe and causes minimal pain since dentists use anesthesia while performing root canals. Dental and oral health is an essential part of your overall health and well-being.
Poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, and has also been linked to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. More than 80% of Americans have at least one cavity by age 30. Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting all ages. Maintaining proper dental and oral hygiene is an essential part of your overall health and well-being. Newer dental treatments such as dental sealants and fluoride rinses have reduced the risk of tooth decay in children and adolescents.
The sooner you learn proper oral hygiene habits such as brushing your teeth, flossing and limiting your sugar intake; it will be easier to avoid costly dental procedures and long-term health problems in future. A dental chart also called periodontal table is where your dental health professional records condition of your teeth and gums.