Oral health involves the health of the gums, teeth, and the whole oral-facial system. Unfortunately, oral health is prone to diseases such as tooth decay, oral cancer, and gum disease. About 40% of adults have oral problems, while 80% develop one or two cavities by 34 years. Oral problems can become chronic if not addressed early enough. So, seeking help from Dr. Addie Chang is important.
Oral problems such as toothache or gum disease can cause injuries like fractured teeth and jawbone damage. You may also experience loss of teeth and jawbone if left untreated. You also risk developing other serious conditions like heart disease and stroke. If you have untreated, periodontal disease for a long time, it can cause permanent tooth loss in your mouth (alveolar bone loss).
There are several risk factors for tooth decay:
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Have a diet high in sugar and starches (such as white bread, pasta, and potatoes).
- Not flossing your teeth often enough or using a tongue cleaner
- Smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco regularly.
Below are common oral health problems worth watching out for;
Tooth decay, also known as caries, is a disease that starts when bacteria cause damage to the enamel on your teeth. The bacteria eat away at the protective outer layer of the tooth (enamel) until the inner part of your tooth (dentine) becomes exposed. Enough damage can allow these bacteria to spread deeper and cause more damage to your tooth.
Gum disease is an infection of gingival tissue (gum) due to various factors, including poor oral hygiene, genetics, and dietary habits like excessive sugar consumption. Gingivitis is characterized by redness, swelling, and bleeding around gum lines (gingival margins), while periodontitis is characterized by more advanced inflammation of gum tissue with bone loss around teeth.
Plaque and gingivitis
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth and causes them to become stained or yellowed. Plaque may also develop along the gum line, which can easily become inflamed, red, tender, and bleed. This condition is called gingivitis. When plaque builds up over time, it can lead to cavities or gum disease.
Broken or missing teeth
A broken tooth doesn’t have to mean pain or embarrassment. You need a dentist who is experienced in treating damaged teeth with fillings or crowns without causing further damage to your smile. Broken or missing teeth can also lead to discomfort and bad breath if they are not properly cared for by your dentist.
Most people struggle with bad breath. A bad taste in your mouth or a foul smell coming from the back of your throat may indicate an underlying oral health problem. The causes of bad breath can be varied, but they typically have to do with problems with the gums, teeth, or tongue.
Some oral health problems, including gum disease and bad breath, can be embarrassing and lead to social isolation. Thus you must visit your dentist for early diagnosis and treatment. For help with oral health problems, contact Addie Chang, DMD.