There are numerous oral diseases which can develop over time if their symptoms are not kept in check. Let's look at ten common conditions and their causes so that professional advice can be obtained when necessary.
Sometimes known as periodontal disease, this condition progresses from gingivitis. It can be caused by poor oral hygiene habits or even from brushing with too much force. As the initial condition may be painless, it is important to see your dentist regularly so it can be checked. There are several treatments which can stop gingivitis from progressing into gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to loose teeth –and teeth falling out.
Tooth decay is arguably one of the most common oral health conditions and it is caused by an accumulation of bacteria within the mouth. These bacteria begin to produce specific sugars that can erode tooth enamel in a relatively short period of time. If not addressed, cavities will often form. This is why it is important to brush and floss twice each day. Seeing a dentist at least once every six months is also recommended.
One or More Sensitive Teeth
There are times when a tooth may become sensitive to hot or cold substances. This is normally caused by enamel that has become worn down over time. As a result, the nerves within the tooth are triggered; resulting in an appreciable amount of discomfort.
Sensitive teeth can be caused by physical damage, the presence of a cavity, an infection, or gingivitis. If this sensitivity persists or becomes worse over time, an infection may have formed. It is pivotal to obtain an expert diagnosis so that more intensive solutions (such as a root canal) can be avoided.
A tooth can sometimes become impacted. This occurs when there is not enough room for it to sit properly within the mouth. While some instances will cause no pain and can generally be left alone, certain situations may require an extraction.
An impacted wisdom tooth is a very common example. Anyone who feels that a tooth is not sitting properly should consult with a dentist or an orthodontist. Orthodontic treatments can sometimes provide a viable solution.
Of course, there are also times when acute damage can occur to your mouth. Examples may include an injury caused by playing contact sports, biting down on extremely hard substances (such as ice) and accidents such as a trip or a fall. If a tooth becomes chipped or cracked, the chances of an infection dramatically increase. This is why seeking emergency treatment is always the most logical solution if you wish to maintain your oral health.
Gaps between your teeth promote the accumulation of food particles and bacteria. This increases the chances of developing related conditions such as gingivitis, periodontitis and cavities.
Thankfully, such gaps can also be addressed through the use of orthodontics such as braces or the Invisalign system. The length of the treatment will often depend on the seriousness of the condition.
Unlike many other substances within the body, tooth enamel cannot be replaced if it becomes eroded. When no enamel is present, a softer portion of the tooth known as the dentin will be exposed. This can lead to increased sensitivity (mentioned above) and it will also increase the risk of developing cavities.
Eroded enamel can cause changes in the colour of a tooth and it also makes the tooth more susceptible to physical damage such as cracks and chips. Make it a point to cut back on sugary and acidic foods; these can destroy enamel over time. If you have sensitive teeth, talk to your dentist about it – as it may be due to enamel erosion. Your dentist can advise you on treatment.
In some cases, the root of a tooth can become infected due to the presence of bacteria or physical damage. Cavities will also allow harmful substances to penetrate into the base of the tooth.
Many individuals who experience a chronic and long-lasting toothache will eventually be diagnosed as an infection. The majority of infections will not resolve themselves without some type of professional intervention such as a root canal. It is therefore extremely important to seek professional help right away.
Although dry mouth might not appear to pose a serious risk to your oral health at first glance, a handful of ancillary problems can result from this condition. A lack of saliva within the mouth makes it much easier for harmful bacteria to proliferate. Furthermore, it is more difficult to wash way food particles if your mouth is extremely dry.
Certain medications have been known to cause this condition. Alcohol, caffeine and sugary foods are also common culprits. In you suffer from dry mouth, try to remain hydrated throughout the day by taking regular sips of water.
Bruxism is the clinical name for a condition associated with excessive teeth grinding. As it often occurs while asleep, individuals may be unaware that a problem even exists.
The issue here is that bruxism will cause the enamel to be worn down and in severe cases, the teeth themselves may chip or crack. Bruxism can be caused by psychological stress or mechanical issues within the oral cavity such as an uneven bite.
The most common way to be treated for this condition is to obtain a custom-made mouthguard. This appliance will then be worn during the overnight hours; effectively preventing your teeth from grinding against one another.
These ten oral health issues should always be taken seriously if you hope to avert more serious outcomes. While some may appear less concerning than others, the simple fact is that even minor symptoms can quickly devolve into conditions that require intensive treatments. So, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist or oral hygienist t the first sign of trouble.