Having a beautiful smile can be a great asset and it can greatly boost a person’s confidence. Not only that, but teeth also help us easily chew and ingest food, speak and clearly pronounce a variety of sounds, and they also help shape our face. However, oral hygiene is not just important for these reasons.
The state of an individual’s teeth and gums can affect other parts of the body and gum disease is particularly linked to several issues. Such conditions can pose a great risk to one’s overall well-being and can even increase the chances of experiencing other health complications such as heart problems, stroke, and diabetes.
These are just some of the reasons why it is necessary to keep your teeth in peak condition and since it is better to prevent an illness than it is to cure it, here is everything you need to know about oral hygiene and the consequences one might face if they fail to take proper dental care.
Possible Problems and Treatment Options
Also known as caries, it occurs when dental plaque which is a mass of bacteria builds up on your teeth over time. This bacteria creates acid that dissolves the enamel – the tooth’s outer protective layer, dentin – the hard material that makes up the bulk of the tooth, and the cementum – the bony substance the covers the root. This can lead to one or multiple cavities. Common symptoms include aches, sensitivity, brown or black spots, an unpleasant taste in your mouth, and bad breath.
Brushing and flossing regularly can prevent dental caries, but once the hole (cavity) forms, you will have to visit a dentist to have it fixed. Depending on the level of damage, there are different treatment options such as a filling or crown to close the hole, root canal treatment, or tooth removal.
Illness of the Gums
The illness comes in three phases, the first being gingivitis, followed by two different severity levels of periodontitis. The disease is caused by tartar which is formed when plaque hardens due to not being removed and it leads to gum inflammation – gingivitis. This is the early stage and results in tender, red, and swollen gums that can easily bleed which can often go away on its own by regular brushing and proper flossing.
The next stage is mild and entails elevated inflammation and increased gum bleeding. The body begins to dissolve your gum attachment due to bacterial poisons. The gums will start receding and one may notice early signs of bone loss. According to professionals at Woden Dental Centre, treatment is crucial at this point to avoid the loosening of teeth or additional loss of bone.
The advanced stage heavily destroys the bone that holds each tooth in place and gums additionally recede. If the treatment fails to restore the bone support, teeth that become too loose will have to be removed. Besides the symptoms listed above, others include lasting bad breath and pain in the jaw and mouth when chewing.
It occurs when insufficient saliva is produced to wet your mouth. This not only makes it harder for a person to eat, taste, swallow, and speak, but can also speed up dental cavities and other oral infections. Several things can be used to help with the problem such as sipping water or any sugarless drink. Sugarless gum or hard candy might also help. One should avoid smoking and drinking at all costs and if nothing else helps, it might be a good time to visit a dental office.
Cancer can develop in any part of the mouth and throat. It more commonly occurs in people over the age of 40 and treatment is most successful before the condition spreads. Since pain is not present in the early stages of oral cancer, dental checkups are the best for discovering the disease. It is important to regularly visit your dentist for oral cancer exams, even when one no longer has their natural teeth.
Tips for Proper Dental Care
1. Brush Properly
The majority of people know the importance of brushing their teeth two times per day, however, they might not necessarily know that there is a right and wrong way of doing it. Speedy, back-and-forth, and harsh motions should be avoided at all costs. Instead, brushing for 2 to 3 minutes, using gentle, circular movements and brushing all sides of every tooth is essential.
2. Floss at Least Once a Day
No matter how useful brushing is, it cannot always reach areas between the teeth. Flossing can remove anything that the toothbrush wasn’t able to and it can also help avoid or reduce bad breath. For the optimal result, gently move the floss upwards and downwards going all the way down to the gum line.
3. Schedule Routine Dental Checkups
During your checkup, a dental hygienist will get rid of any plaque or tartar while the dentist will examine your mouth and look for any signs of health issues. Optimally, these examinations should be scheduled every six months, especially for children and teenagers, but adults who practice taking extra care might be able to visit less frequently while others who are experiencing problems should see a dentist more often.
4. Use Products That Contain Fluoride
Fluoride is a mineral that can be found in our bones and teeth and also in toothpaste, mouthwashes, and supplements. It can rebuild weakened enamel, prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, and also reverse the early symptoms of tooth decay. However, many dental products do not contain this ingredient, so pay attention to the list on the package when buying your products.
5. Avoid Sugary Foods
Eating too much sugar will make your teeth rot is something most people have heard from their parents as a child. Regardless, it is completely true since consuming too much sugar can lead to cavities and other problems. It is better to opt for and enjoy fruits and vegetables.
6. Do Not Smoke
Not only does it increase the risk of developing mouth or throat cancer, but it slows the immune system, making it harder for the body to heal tissues. It also leads to tongue and teeth yellowing and bad breath.
Although dental illnesses sound scary, they can easily be avoided with regular and proper care. Create an oral hygiene routine, stick to it, and make sure to visit your dentist at least every 6 months to help prevent cavities and any other potential problems.