Dental Diseases: 5 Common Problems You Are Likely to Face
Teeth are kept quite busy all day. Not just when you bite, chew, and grind your food, but also when you talk or use them as a temporary repository while rummaging for keys in your bag. Given their workload and the amount of bacteria, both good and bad, that they are exposed to, its only natural that they need some extra care. Don’t grudge them that then – whether it’s oral hygiene practices like brushing twice a day and flossing, reducing intake of sugary food to prevent dental decay, or regular dental visits for cleaning and care.
Here’s a list of dental diseases or ailments that means it’s time to stop avoiding the dentist and make an appointment.
In most cases, constant bad breath doesn’t just mean poor oral hygiene, it’s often an indication of other dental conditions like gum diseases, dental cavities, dry mouth, bacteria on the tongue, or at the very worst – oral cancer. Camouflaging odour with mints and mouthwash can only serve to suppress the smell, however your underlying problem will remain untreated. It could be something as simple as needing a dental cleaning, so don’t postpone the visit to the dentist.
Clinically termed xerostomia, dry mouth is recognizable by its symptom – dry mouth, caused by lack of saliva in the mouth. Although several reasons can induce it, it is most commonly a side effect of taking prescription medications.
Saliva in the mouth has mild antibacterial properties that wash away residual plaque on teeth. Without sufficient saliva and the good bacteria it carries, the plaque stays on the teeth enamel, eating it away. So dry mouth essentially means your gums and teeth are not getting essential moisture and cleansing.
The most at risk groups are patients on prescription medications and older people (primarily over the age of fifty). As the mouth ages, saliva production naturally slows and the friction against teeth increases. Over time, if left untreated, this lack of saliva will contribute to the development of decay and cavities. Despite these repercussions, do not stop taking prescribed medicines unless instructed to by your doctor. You can also consult a dentist to understand how you can manage the condition.
Tooth Decay aka Cavities
The most common form of dental disease, cavities occur when sugar and starch from food we eat combines with plaque, a sticky substance that forms on teeth. This results in acids that attack tooth enamel. Cavities are not restricted to children and can occur at any age, which makes dental health a priority for all. While a simple sitting to clean teeth might be enough in early stages, a root canal may be suggested if the decay has spread.
As the name suggests gum disease infects the gums. Did you know gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss in adults? Although the disease can affect anyone, those over 30 years of age are more susceptible. Smoking is a significant risk factor, along with diabetes and dry mouth. Gingivitis and periodontitis are two major stages of gum disease. If you show any symptoms like red, tender, or bleeding gums, or sensitive teeth, make sure you see a dentist to get treated ahead of further complications like tooth loss.
Tooth sensitivity is a common theme in tooth paste commercials with reason: they affect millions. The symptoms include pain or discomfort when your teeth comes in contact with hot drinks, cold drinks, ice cream or while brushing and flossing in some cases.
Tooth sensitivity can also be caused by a cracked tooth or due to a tooth abscess. Whatever the cause, sensitive teeth can be treated easily. A dentist can diagnose the source of the discomfort and prescribe an effective treatment.