The meaning of oral health goes beyond healthy teeth. It means being free from chronic oral-facial conditions, oral soft tissue lesions, throat and oral cancer, congenital disabilities such as palate and cleft lip, and other diseases that affect dental and oral tissues. The functions of these tissues are often taken for granted, yet they represent the essence of humanity. They enable us to smile, speak, taste, chew, and swallow. They also allow us to convey our emotions and feelings and provide protection from microbial infections.
According to Dentist Carrollton Texas, oral health is inseparable from general health and should be included in the public community health care programs. Maintaining oral health is a lifetime commitment, and it involves proper oral hygiene practices such as flossing and regulating sugar intake. Good oral hygiene helps prevent health issues in the long run and expensive dental procedures.
The most common oral health issues are dental cavities and gum disease. A high number of school children are affected by at least one dental cavity. Nearly all adults have a dental cavity issue. The burden of oral disease is most felt in disadvantaged populations.
The following measures can help reduce oral and dental diseases;
- Drinking water that is fluoridated
- Eating a diet with many fruits and vegetables
- Minimizing your sugar intake
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Avoiding tobacco products
Signs of dental health problems
Regular visits to the dentist will allow a dentist to detect dental problems even before noticing any symptoms. At least two visits per annum are recommended. You should book an appointment with your dentist if you experience any of the following warning signs;
- Sudden tooth sensitivity to cold or hot substances
- Chronic bad breath
- Swelling of the face or cheek
- Pain while chewing or biting
- Swelling on the cheek and face
- Swollen or bleeding gums after brushing
- Cracked or broken teeth
The above symptoms could be accompanied by a high fever and could need urgent medical attention.
Causes of oral diseases
Diets with a high concentration of sugar create favorable conditions for acid-producing bacteria. The acid dissolves in the tooth enamel causing dental cavities. The bacteria in your gum line does well in a sticky matrix known as plague. The plague can accumulate and move down to cover the entire tooth. If it is not frequently removed by brushing and flossing, it inflames the gums resulting in gingivitis. Increased inflammation of the gums could result in an advanced gum disease known as periodontitis.
The following factors contribute to periodontitis and gingivitis
- Poor brushing habits
- Infections such as HIV/AIDS
- Genetics and family history
- Regular snacking of sugary foods and drinks
- Use of medications that reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth
Diagnosis of dental diseases involves the use of various instruments and procedures such as dental X-rays. If the dentist notices abnormal growths, lesions, and lumps in your teeth, they may carry out a gum biopsy used to check for any cancerous cells. Awareness of oral health has dramatically improved in recent years as research has proven a connection between a decline in oral health and systemic conditions such as heart disease.