What to Watch Out for When Conserving Dental Health

A dental patient in pain

Maintaining a healthy mouth is essential for people of all ages. According to the American Dental Association, the body’s overall health starts with good oral health. Poor oral health has been linked to several chronic health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

In addition to the health benefits, maintaining good oral health also has financial benefits. A recent study by Delta Dental found that people with poor oral health visit the doctor more often and spend more on medical care than those with good oral health. The study also found that people with poor oral health are less likely to have dental insurance and are more likely to have lower incomes.

The bottom line is that maintaining a healthy mouth is essential for your overall health and well-being. To keep your mouth healthy, brush your teeth twice daily, floss daily, and see your dentist for regular checkups. Still, there are some things you need to remain worried about when it comes to your oral health. Here are a few things at the top of the list.

Cavities

Cavities are small holes that form in the teeth. They are caused by tooth decay resulting from bacteria on the teeth. The bacteria eat away at the tooth enamel, which is the hard outer coating protecting your tooth. When the enamel is gone, the dentin (the softer inner layer of the tooth) is exposed. The bacteria can then eat away at the dentin, causing cavities.

You can prevent cavities by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and seeing your dentist for regular checkups. If you already have holes, they can get treated with dental fillings or crowns.

Cavities are common to both children and adults. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five adults aged 20-64 has untreated cavities.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. Plaque irritates the gums, causing them to become red, swollen, and tender. If plaque does not get removed, it can harden into tartar, which can only get pulled by a dentist or dental hygienist.

Gum disease is common among adults. According to the CDC, half of the adults aged 30 and older have gum disease.

To prevent gum disease, brush your teeth twice daily, floss daily, and see your dentist for regular cleanings. Treatments may involve deep cleanings, antibiotics, or surgery if you already have gum disease.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is the breakdown of tooth enamel caused by bacteria. Tooth enamel is the tooth’s hard outer layer that protects the softer inner layers. When tooth enamel breaks down, the inner layers are exposed and can be damaged.

You can prevent tooth decay by brushing and flossing regularly, using fluoride toothpaste, and seeing your dentist for regular checkups. If you already have tooth decay, it can get treated with dental fillings or crowns.

Bad Breath

Bad breath (halitosis) is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. Plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth can cause bad breath. Other causes of bad breath include gum disease, dry mouth, smoking, and certain foods, all of which collectively contribute to the problem.

You can prevent bad breath by brushing and flossing regularly, using a tongue scraper, and seeing your dentist for regular checkups. If you already have bad breath, treatment may involve changing your oral hygiene habits or taking medication.

Bad breath can make you lose confidence and affect your social life. If you’re concerned about your breath, talk to your dentist.

Missing Tooth

A person with missing tooth

Missing teeth do not happen to everyone, but you must know how to treat them. A tooth may be missing due to an accident, tooth decay, or gum disease.

A missing tooth can cause problems with eating and speaking. It can also lead to problems with your bite and make you self-conscious about your smile.

Several treatment options are available if you have a missing tooth, including dental implants, bridges, and dentures.

A dental implant is the best option to replace a missing tooth that looks and functions like a natural tooth. A bridge is a good option if you want to replace a missing tooth but don’t want to undergo surgery. And denture is a good option if you want to replace all your teeth. Those replacement tooth procedures will not only improve your appearance but also help to keep your mouth healthy.

Final Thoughts

Dental health is essential for overall health. Be sure to brush and floss regularly, see your dentist for regular checkups, and eat a healthy diet. Talk to your dentist if you have any concerns about your dental health. They will know what to do when it comes to conserving dental health.

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