Dental and oral health is an essential part of your overall health and prosperity. Poor oral hygiene can lead to dental cavities and gum disease and has also been linked to heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is a lifelong commitment. The earlier you learn proper oral hygiene habits, such as brushing, flossing and limiting your sugar intake. The easier it will be to avoid costly dental procedures and long-term health issues.
Symptoms of Dental And Oral Problems
You shouldn’t wait until you have symptoms to visit your Carroll Dentistry. Going to the dentist twice a year will usually allow them to catch a problem before you even notice any symptoms.
If you experience any of the following warning signs of dental health issues, you should make an appointment to see your dentist for preventive dentistry as soon as possible:
- Ulcers, sores or tender areas in the mouth that won’t heal after a week or two,
- Bleeding or swollen gums after brushing or flossing,
- Chronic bad breath,
- Sudden sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures or beverages,
- Pain or toothache,
- Loose teeth,
- Receding gums,
- Pain with chewing or biting,
- Swelling of the face and cheek,
- The clicking of the jaw,
- Cracked or broken teeth,
- Frequent dry mouth.
If any of these symptoms are accompanied by a high fever and facial or neck swelling, you should seek emergency medical treatment.
Causes Of Dental And Oral Diseases
Your oral cavity collects all sorts of bacteria, viruses and fungi. Some of them belong there, making up the normal flora of your mouth. They are generally harmless in small quantities. But a diet high in sugar creates conditions in which acid-producing bacteria can flourish. This acid dissolves tooth enamel and causes dental cavities.
Bacteria near your gumline thrive in a sticky matrix called plaque. Plaque accumulates, hardens and migrates down the length of your teeth if it isn’t removed regularly by brushing and flossing. This can inflame your gums and cause the condition known as gingivitis.
Increased inflammation causes your gums to begin to pull away from your teeth. This process creates pockets in which pus may eventually collect. This more advanced stage of gum disease is called periodontitis.
They are many factors that contribute to gingivitis and periodontitis, including:
- Poor brushing habits,
- Frequent snacking on sugary foods and drinks,
- The use of medications that reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth,
- Family history, or genetics,-
- Certain infections, such as HIV and AIDS,
- hormonal changes in women,
- Acid, reflux or heartburn,-
- Frequent vomiting, due to the acid.
Diagnosing Dental And Oral Diseases
Most dental and oral problems can be diagnosed with durin a dental exam. During an exam in Carroll Dentistry, your doctor will closely inspect:
Your South Beach dentist might tap or scrape at your teeth with various tools or instruments to assist with a diagnosis. A technician at the dentist’s office will take dental X-Rays of your mouth, making sure to get an image of each of your teeth. Women who are pregnant shouldn’t have X-Rays.
A tool called a probe can be used to measure your gum pockets. This small ruler can tell your dentist whether or not you have gum diesase or receding gums. In a healthy mouth, the depth of the pockets between the teeth is usually between 1 and 3 mm. Any measurement higher than that may mean you have gum disease.
If your dentist finds any abnormal lumps, lesions or growths in your mouth, they may perform a gum biopsy. During a biopsy, a small peace of tissue is removed from the growth or lesion. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for examination under a microscope to check for cancerous cells.
Types Of Dental And Oral Diseases
We use our teeth and mouths for a lot, so it is not surprising how many things can go wrong over time, especially if you don’t take proper care of your teeth. Most dental and oral problems can be prevented with proper oral hygiene. You will likely experience at least one dental problem during your lifetime.
Cavities are also called caries or tooth decay. These are areas of the tooth that have been permanently damaged and may even have holes in them. Cavities are fairly common. They occur when bacteria, food and acid coat your teeth and form a plaque. The acid on your teeth starts to eat at the enamel and then the underlying dentin, or connective tissue. Over time, this can lead to permanent damage.
Gum disease – Gingivitis
Gum disease, also called gingivitis, is inflammation of the gums. It is usually the result of plaque building up on your teeth due to poor brushing and flossing habits. Gingivitis can make your gums swell and bleed when you brush or floss. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more serious infection.
As periodontitis progresses, the infection can spread to your jaw and bones. It can also cause an inflammatory response throughout the body.
Cracked or broken teeth
A tooth can crack or break from an injury to the mouth, chewing hard foods, or grinding the teeth at night. A cracked tooth can be very painful. You should visit your dentist at Carroll Dentistry right away if you have cracked or broken a tooth.
If your teeth are sensitive, you might feel pain or discomfort after having cold or hot foods or beverages.
Tooth sensitivity is also referred to as “dentin hypersensitivity”. It sometimes occurs temporarily after having a root canal or a filling. It can also be the result of:
- Gum disease,
- Receding gums,
- A cracked tooth,
- Worn-down fillings or crowns.
Some people naturally have sensitive teeth because they have thinner enamel.
Treating Dental And Oral Problems
Even if you have been taking good care of your teeth, you will still need to have a professional cleaning twice a year during a routine visit with your dentist. Your Carroll dentist will recommend other treatments if you show signs of gum disease, infections or other problems.
A professional cleaning can get rid of any plaque you may have missed while brushing and flossing. It will also remove tartar. These cleanings are usually performed by a dental hygenist.
Following a dental cleaning, your dentist may apply a fluoride treatment to help fight off cavities. Fluoride is a naturally occuring mineral. It can help strenghthen the enamel of your tooth and make them more resilient to bacteria and acid.
If you show signs of a gum infection or you have a tooth abscess that has spread to other teeth or your jaw, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help get rid of the infection.
You might need a root canal if tooth decay reaches all the way inside the tooth to the nerve. During a root canal, the nerve is removed and replaced with a filling made of a biocompatible material.
They are mostly known for their role in digestive health, but new research has shown that healthy bacteria may be beneficial for your teeth and gums.
Probiotics have been shown to prevent plaque and treat bad breath. They also help to prevent oral cancers and decrease inflammation from gum disease.
Changing daily habits
Keeping your mouth healthy is a daily commitment. A dental hygenist can teach you how to properly take care of your teeth and gums on a daily basis. In additional to brushing and flossing, your daily routine can include mouthwash, oral rinses, and possibly other tools.