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Three of the World’s Most Common Oral Health Conditions

October 2, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — robisondental @ 8:40 pm

Many people in other countries do not have the same access to dental care and supplies that people in America sometimes take for granted. This makes it far more likely for those groups to develop dental problems that are perfectly preventable with good oral hygiene and access to consistent dental care. Even in wealthier countries, many people face the same problems because they neglect to take care of their teeth. Here are three smile-wrecking conditions that are all too common across the Earth and what can be done to prevent them.

Tooth Decay

The human mouth naturally hosts multitudes of bacteria, and some prove to be quite destructive to oral health if their growth is not controlled. Tooth decay begins with dental cavities, infections resulting from bacteria eating their way through the enamel and dentin layers of a tooth. If a dental cavity is allowed to progress, it will eventually reach and infect the inner layer called the pulp, triggering a toothache. Thankfully, modern dentistry is well-equipped to deal with cavities and stop them before they can do further harm.

If this stage of decay goes untreated, it will eventually result in tooth loss. To make matters worse, the infection can spread from one tooth to another, starting the process all over again. Since the pulp contains blood vessels, invasive bacteria can spread through the circulatory system to other tissues in the body, causing potentially fatal secondary infections such as sepsis.

Gum Disease

The same bacteria that cause tooth decay can cause gum disease. It will begin as these microbes accumulate at the gumline and the acid they excrete begins to irritate the gums. This results in gingivitis, inflammation of the gums that causes them to swell, bleed, and turn an angry red color. If gingivitis is allowed to progress, the infection will develop into periodontitis as it moves deeper into the gums. This stage of gum disease can result in tooth loss, deterioration of the jawbone, and the same sort of potentially fatal secondary infections that can result from tooth decay.

Tooth Loss

Tooth loss can impair one’s ability to chew and speak while also being devastating to one’s self-image and other aspects of social and mental health. Teeth can be lost due to tooth decay, gum disease, physical injury, or other causes. Edentulism is the loss of every tooth in one’s mouth, and it is estimated that 7% of people 20 or older and 23% of seniors live with this condition.

The loss of one tooth deprives the jawbone supporting it of exercise, and without it, the bone structure will begin to atrophy and recede. This can pull neighboring teeth out of alignment, making them harder to clean and exposing them to damage, potentially resulting in a vicious cycle of tooth loss. As the jaw loses more and more teeth and bone mass, it will gradually begin to sink into the face, resulting in an old, withered appearance.

How Can These Conditions Be Prevented?

The key to preventing all these ailments is keeping up with regular dental visits and practicing good oral hygiene while avoiding bad habits that can harm your teeth. This includes a daily regimen of flossing, rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash, and brushing twice or after meals. Some habits to avoid are smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and sugar, and using your teeth for anything other than eating. By making sensible choices involving your pearly whites, you will give your smile a multilayered shield of protection that can preserve its health and beauty for life.

About the Author

Dr. J.D. Robison studied at Purdue University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Detroit Mercy and has completed the core curriculum at the prestigious Dawson Center for Advanced Dental Studies. He serves as a member of the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, the Academy of Comprehensive Esthetics, and the International Academy of Comprehensive Esthetics. His office in Canton, MI offers general, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. For more information on preventing these conditions and maintaining excellent oral health, contact his office online or dial (734) 453-6320.

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