Avoiding Common Oral Health Problems

oral health problems

Your oral health is an indication of your overall health and wellness. Many common oral health problems can be avoided if you take good care of your teeth, gums, and mouth as a whole. Some of the most common oral health problems include gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, oral cancer, tooth sensitivity, mouth sores and more. All of these can be avoided with the right oral hygiene routines and by visiting the dentist often. The American Dental Association recommends that every patient visit the dentist at least twice a year. For patients with common oral health problems, they should see the dentist more often. Let us help you know how you can avoid many of the most common oral health problems!


Why Your Oral Health Is Important

There is a saying that your “eyes are the window to your soul.” Similarly, your mouth is a window to your health. How well you take care of your oral health is an indication of how well you take care of the rest of your body. In fact, many ailments and illnesses start at the mouth in some way or another. Many chronic illnesses that are food and weight-related stem from what you put in your body. Other conditions are caused from poor oral health or can worsen by not practicing proper oral hygiene.


Not only can good oral health help you avoid disease and ailments, but it can also help you keep your teeth your entire life while avoiding common oral health problems. Studies show that some systemic conditions such as AIDS or diabetes actually first manifest signs in your mouth through sores and lesions. Saliva tests can also reveal the presence of drugs, toxins, hormones, antibodies and more that are in your body.


Common Oral Health Problems

There are many common oral health problems. The two most common are tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay is also known as “cavities” and “dental caries”. Both of these oral health problems are completely and 100% avoidable with good oral hygiene habits. The American Dental Association recommends that every person brush their teeth at least twice a day. This is a baseline recommendation, as brushing the teeth after every meal can reduce your risk for gum disease and tooth decay even more. Every person should floss their teeth at least once a day as well.


Some other common oral health problems include:

  • Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease – This disease is most common in children. This causes a sore throat and fever for several days. Mildly painful blisters can also appear inside the cheeks as well as on the tongue, soles, palms and buttocks.
  • Thrush – This condition happens most often in babies and people infected with HIV. It is an overgrowth of a candida fungus in the mouth and causes white plaque to appear in the mouth. Some antibiotics can cause thrush.
  • Canker Sores – These are lesions that form on the gums or inside of the cheeks and lips. Infections, stress, hormones and more can cause these to form. They are very common among all ages of patients.
  • Oral Herpes – This is part of the herpes simplex virus and causes blisters and ulcers on the gums and the tongue. Between 50%-80% of American adults have the virus and it stays in your system throughout life. It can be dormant your entire life or flare up often depending on the person and their lifestyle.


Tooth Decay

The American Dental Association tells us that tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth enamel over time. Your tooth enamel is the hard, white, outer surface of your teeth, and the part that is the strongest. However, even the strongest of substances can become weak over time. Your teeth’s worst enemy is plaque. Why? Plaque causes tooth decay, and it can happen quite fast. Your body makes plaque every day when you eat and drink. The sugars from the foods you eat mix with bacteria in the mouth that makes a clear, sticky substance. That substance is the plaque that we are referring to, and it’s acidic.


Because plaque is acidic, it can erode your tooth enamel away over time if it sits on your teeth long enough. The worst part is that most people don’t even know that erosion is happening until a tooth has decayed enough to show signs of pain or sensitivity. If your tooth enamel wears away enough, plaque can get inside your tooth, where decay spreads rapidly. With severe decay, a patient can easily lose their tooth or have an infection get into their bloodstream, which is something you definitely don’t want. Tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease in both children and adults even though it is 100% preventable.


Gum Disease

You prevent tooth decay but brushing and flossing your teeth several times a day. You prevent gum disease in the same way. Because your mouth consists of more than just your teeth, then it makes sense that plaque would also damage other parts of your mouth instead of just your teeth. Plaque also irritates your gum and causes them to become red and bleed easier, especially when flossing. This is the first stage of gum disease, called gingivitis.


If you continue to not brush and floss your teeth, gingivitis can progress to severe gum disease (called periodontitis or periodontal disease). This is when the gums recede from the teeth and the teeth actually begin to fall out. Over 64.7 million people have some form of gum disease even though it too, is avoidable with proper and frequent brushing and flossing.


Dental Help for Your Dental Health

Don’t be plagued by common oral issues! Brush and floss your teeth as often as possible and come in to see the dentist frequently. We can help you prevent the majority of oral problems with comprehensive exams, dental cleanings, and oral hygiene tips. To schedule your cleaning and exam, call Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies today at (970) 223-8425!