Oral health is often overlooked as simply brushing your teeth to prevent cavities, but it is a crucial aspect of your overall health as well. Poor oral hygiene can lead to various dental and oral diseases that can cause serious complications if left untreated. Let’s look at common types of dental and oral diseases, their symptoms, and treatment options.
Importance of Oral Health
Oral health has a profound impact on our overall well-being and is often viewed as a window to our general health status. There are several types of dental diseases and numerous studies have established that poor oral hygiene is associated with a range of serious health conditions. Some of these health conditions include cardiovascular diseases, respiratory infections, diabetes, and pregnancy complications.
The bacteria that accumulate in our mouth can spread throughout our body, increasing the risk of inflammation and infections that can damage our organs and cause chronic disease. Maintaining good oral health is therefore critical in preventing and managing these health issues.
This includes brushing teeth twice daily, flossing every day, eating a balanced diet, reducing sugary and acidic foods, avoiding tobacco use, and scheduling regular dental check-ups. Investing in our oral health can significantly improve our quality of life, and promote long-term health and wellness.
See also: Dental Care in Exeter
Common Types of Dental and Oral Disease
Various types of oral diseases can affect the teeth, gums, and mouth. Some of these dental diseases include dental cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease, oral thrush, and oral cancer.
Cavities (Tooth Decay)
Cavities are holes that develop in the teeth due to damage caused by bacteria on the tooth surface. Cavities, also known as dental caries, are among the most common dental diseases. They can occur when sugary and starchy foods are left on the teeth for too long, allowing the bacteria to produce acid that breaks down the surface of the tooth. Symptoms include toothache, sensitivity, and visible holes or pits in the teeth. Treatment options range from fillings and crowns to root canals, depending on the severity of the cavities.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissues surrounding the teeth. Its root cause is the presence of bacteria and plaque on teeth that is irritating to the gum tissue, also known as the gingiva. Gingivitis can be prevented by good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice per day and flossing daily. Regular dental cleanings can also prevent the build-up of calculus, a calcified dental plaque that can irritate the gums. Signs of gingivitis often present as bleeding when flossing or brushing teeth.
Periodontal disease is similar to gingivitis in that it results from inflammation of the gingiva due to the presence of bacteria and plaque. However, in the case of periodontal disease, the inflammation in the gum tissue results in loss of bone surrounding the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can result in severe bone loss, causing teeth to become mobile. Good oral hygiene, such as brushing twice per day and flossing daily, can help prevent the progression of the disease.
Oral thrush is an infection caused by the overgrowth of Candida yeast in the mouth. Symptoms include the presence of white patches on the tongue and inside of the cheeks. Oral thrush can also cause bad breath (also known as halitosis) or an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Treatment options range from anti-fungal medication to improving oral hygiene and managing underlying health conditions.
Oral cancer is a potentially life-threatening dental disease that can occur when there is an abnormal growth of cells in the mouth. Oral cancer can present in many ways and in different areas of the mouth, but some symptoms include persistent mouth sores, lumps, and changes in the way teeth fit together. Factors such as smoking or tobacco use, alcohol use, and HPV can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. It is important to see a dentist regularly for oral cancer screenings and to notify them if you notice any changes in your mouth.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial in preventing dental and oral diseases. Signs of oral health problems should be checked early on to prevent them from worsening and potentially impacting overall health. Regular dental visits, proper oral hygiene practices, and developing healthy lifestyle habits can keep teeth and gums healthy.
Our team at Filler Family Dentistry is trained in recognizing and treating these dental diseases and concerns. Scheduling a preliminary appointment with our office will enable us to perform a comprehensive examination to evaluate any area of concern and determine a personalized hygiene schedule that can help you maintain optimal oral health. Give us a call to schedule today!