You Should Know This About Dental and Oral Health

Posted by Jivan Kule on September 12th, 2019


Facts about dental and oral health

Dental cavities and gum disease are very common. According to the World Health OrganizationTrusted Source:

between 60 and 90 percent of school children have at least one dental cavity
nearly 100 percent of adults have at least one dental cavity
between 15 and 20 percent of adults ages, 35 to 44 have severe gum disease
about 30 percent of people around the world ages 65 to 74 don’t have any natural teeth left
in most countries, out of every 100,000 people, there are between 1 and 10 cases of oral cancer
the burden of oral disease is much higher in poor or disadvantaged population groups
There are many steps you can take to keep your teeth healthy. For example, dental and oral disease can be greatly reduced by:

brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day
flossing your teeth at least once a day
decreasing your intake of sugar
eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables
avoiding tobacco products
drinking fluoridated water
seeking professional dental care
Symptoms of dental and oral problems
You shouldn’t wait until you have symptoms to visit your dentist. 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 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. Learn more about the warning signs of oral health issues.

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’re 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 tooth 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.

Many factors 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 or 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 during a dental exam. During an exam, your dentist will closely inspect your:

Your 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. Be sure to tell your dentist if you’re pregnant. 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 disease or receding gums. In a healthy mouth, the depth of the pockets between the teeth is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters (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 piece 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.

If oral cancer is suspected, your dentist may also order imaging tests to see if cancer has spread. Tests may include:

MRI scan
CT scan

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Jivan Kule

About the Author

Jivan Kule
Joined: September 12th, 2019
Articles Posted: 1