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When it comes to dental and oral health it is not just about a beautiful smile, which often makes the premise for falling in love . Good oral health and hygiene mean healthy solid teeth and surrounding support tissues. Your mouth is the mirror of your whole body, and many systemic diseases manifest their early signs in the mouth. 

Taking care of your teeth and gums is equally important as caring for your general health.

Do you know that digestion of your food starts from the mouth? An unhealthy set of teeth will not be able to chew the food effectively, leading to constipation and other general health issues. 

The information below will briefly discuss the basics of oral health, common dental problems, and ways to deal with them.

Why is oral health important?

Studies have shown that the bacteria in the mouth is linked with several systemic diseases like diabetes and heart conditions like infective endocarditis. The research also indicates that individuals with improved oral health require lesser insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels. The bacteria in the mouth can quickly enter the bloodstream and cause infection anywhere in the body.

So you must be wondering what I can do. Right? Before these bad bacteria build their societies in our mouth, there are certain things you can do to stop their construction work.

The most common notion we all have is that we regularly brush our teeth twice a day, so this is enough, and we will not have any oral health problems. This is not true as brushing alone is not enough, and here are a few things you can do to maintain optimum dental health.

  • Visit your dentist regularly for checkups, as this can help in the early detection of dental problems.
  • Get professional cleaning every 4 to 6 months as some deposits on your teeth can not be removed with brushing alone
  • Learn about the proper brushing technique as the horizontal scrubbing method used by most people tend to abrade your teeth
  • Use fluoridated toothpaste as the mineral helps in strengthening the teeth.
  • Apart from regular brushing, incorporate the habit of flossing and tongue cleaning for complete dental health care.

Now that we are clear about the importance of oral health let us discuss the common problems, their causes and symptoms, and the available treatment options.

Symptoms of dental and oral problems

As discussed above, one should not wait for the symptoms to visit the dentist. However, there are a few symptoms that one should be watchful of

  • Bleeding from the gums while brushing
  • Red swollen gums
  • Black spot or discoloration in the tooth
  • Any white spot on the tooth
  • Bad breath 
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold food items
  • Any chronic or recurrent pain in the tooth or adjacent soft tissue
  • Swelling on any side of the face
  • Deviation of the mouth on opening
  • Click or pop sound while moving the jaw
  • Any pain while chewing
  • Chronic dryness of mouth
  • Nonhealing ulcer or wound

Causes of dental and oral diseases

Our mouth is full of bacteria; some are harmless, but a few are present that thrive on the food debris accumulated between the teeth or under the gums. These bacteria then produce acid that destroys the tooth surface causing tooth decay. The bacteria that hides under your gums cause inflammation and gum problems. 

When left untreated, gum problems may spread to the supporting tissues of the teeth and cause tooth loss. The thin layer of food debris and bacteria accumulating on the tooth surface is called plaque. The plaque that is not cleaned regularly gets hardened and forms calculus. 

Some of the predisposing factors for dental diseases are :

  • Poor oral hygiene habits
  • Personal habits like smoking
  • Dietary habits like frequent snacking or consuming sugar-laden food items
  • Medical history like diabetes
  • Certain medications that cause dry mouth
  • Hormonal changes in pregnancy or puberty

Diagnosing dental and oral diseases

The early diagnosis of the dental disease is critical to saving the tooth. For a proper diagnosis and treatment planning, it is essential to visit the dentist instead of relying  on home remedies and painkillers.

Using various techniques, your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, soft tissues, tongue, cheeks, and jaw bones. Depending on the case, the doctor may advise you for X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. In most cases, a thorough clinical examination followed by a routine X-ray available with the dentist is sufficient to make a correct diagnosis.

Common dental problems

1. Tooth decay

Tooth decay

The most common dental problem is a dental cavity or tooth decay. Once the tooth is involved, it is better to treat the cavity in the early stages, as the more advanced it gets, the chances of pain and irreversible damage increase, which may need more extensive treatments.

2. Gum diseases

Gum diseases

The lack of proper oral hygiene mainly causes gum diseases. Professional cleaning is sufficient in most cases for effectively managing this fairly common dental problem.

3. Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity

As the tooth structure shows wear and tear, the inner layers of the tooth are exposed, leading to tooth sensitivity. Sensitivity can be due to receding gums, worn-out tooth structure, or dislodged filling.

4. Fractured tooth

Fractured tooth

Although the tooth is made up of a hard substance, it can still fracture. Treating a cracked or fractured tooth depends on the type of fracture and its extent. 

Treatment options available

1. Dental fillings

Dental fillings

Tooth decay in its early stages can be treated with dental fillings. There are several dental fillings available, including the tooth-colored ones that exactly match the natural teeth

2. Root canal treatment

Root canal treatment

Popularly known as RCT is the treatment modality for extensive tooth decay. When the decay reaches the nerves and blood vessels of the teeth, the infection is cleaned and filled with medicaments.

3. Tooth extraction

Tooth extraction

This is a common treatment choice for severely damaged or mobile teeth. It is often the last resort when all the other treatments have failed to save the tooth.

4. Teeth cleaning

Teeth cleaning

Professional teeth cleaning or dental scaling removes the hard deposits from the teeth that are not cleaned with regular brushing. It is recommended to get a professional cleaning done  in every 4-6 months

Conclusion 

Every part of our body has a significant role to play in our health. Our oral cavity acts as a bridge between the exterior environment and internal organs, hence ensuring a healthy oral cavity is much more important. We hope our article gives you a brief outlook of oral health. Also, we all are afraid of visiting dentists as if they are a fire breathing dragon. Make sure you visit a dentist, twice a year to monitor your oral health. Lastly, keep in touch with Yuvaap to discover more such informative articles. 

References

https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/adult-oral-health/tips.html

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