The health of your teeth, gums, and entire oral-facial system is extremely important. This is because they all work together to eat, speak, drink, and smile. For this reason, you need an oral health routine to keep your mouth healthy and functional. This means brushing at least twice a day and regularly flossing. Additionally, you should use a dentist-recommended mouthwash, and avoid sugary food or drinks. Without a strategic oral hygiene routine, your mouth remains vulnerable to a number of common dental problems. These are issues that may cause you pain or further health issues.
Here are 3 common dental problems that can be avoided by sticking to an effective oral hygiene routine.
3 Common Dental Problems
1. Tooth Decay
Decaying teeth, also known as cavities, are very preventable. However, cavities, or caries, happen to be the most common chronic oral disease in the world. Cavities usually appear near the gumline, on chewing surfaces, or in between crevices of the teeth. Tooth decay occurs because of a buildup of plaque on the surface of the teeth. Plaque holds acidic bacteria that eats away at the enamel of teeth, exposing them to decay. Additionally, eating or drinking starchy and sugary foods contributes to the production of bacteria found in plaque. This makes it easier for cavities to form.
If left untreated, cavities can lead to a severe infection hidden under the gumline. Furthermore, this infection may spread and could even result in serious, and sometimes fatal, repercussions.
2. Periodontal Disease
More commonly referred to as gum disease, periodontal disease affects about 4 out of 10 adults over the age of thirty. This oral health condition comes from inflammation and infection within the gums and bones that support the teeth and hold them in place. Sometimes, specific chronic conditions can also put people at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease.
People who have diabetes, poor oral hygiene, compromised immune system, or certain hereditary factors have increased chance of gum disease. Additionally, the use of tobacco is a leading cause of gum disease. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to fully infected gums and bone deterioration. This extreme case calls for teeth extraction.
3. Oral Cancer
Oral cancer forms when the cells of the mouth and lips begin to mutate, forming abnormal cells that are cancerous. The leading causes of oral cancer are tobacco use, excessive alcohol use, and HPV. Additionally, excessive sun exposure to the lips has been related to oral cancer. Early detection and treatment are key to increasing the survival rate of this oral health condition.
How Do I Prevent These Oral Health Conditions?
To avoid cavities, gum disease and oral cancer, it’s important to develop a strategic oral hygiene routine. Consistency is key! If you take an extra 5 to 10 minutes each day to complete your hygiene routine, your risk of suffering from these oral health conditions will reduce significantly.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes at a time
- Brushing after each meal or after having a sugary drink is ideal, but not always convenient.
- Flossing and rinsing with a dentist-recommended mouthwash is a great followup after brushing.
- Cutting out tobacco, reducing alcohol and sugar intake will also help to keep your smile healthy.
Lastly, seeing your dentist regularly is crucial. Visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and check-up is the best way to make sure you’re not at risk for any of the above conditions. Click here to view our locations and schedule your appointment at the most convenient location!