Oral Health Basics: How To Prevent And Treat Dental Problems

June 25, 2020


Oral Health Basics: How To Prevent And Treat Dental Problems
Sugary lips and beautiful teeth
Teeth stretching chewing gum

Dental health is an important part of our general health and has a direct impact on our lives, not just because everyone wants a Hollywood smile to grace their face, but poor dental health will certainly lead to gum diseases, dental cavities, leading to constant pain throughout your days. No one wants to wake up in the middle of the night because of an aching tooth that they can do nothing about, so it’s best to avoid this by understanding the basics of dental problems and how they are treated. Of course, in most cases, you’re not the one who’s going to treat your poor teeth, but rather a professional dentist who knows all about oral health. However, as delicate as treating poor teeth is, there are a few things that you can do to manage oral health. In the following guide, we’ll discuss dental problems and how they can be treated, whether by the capable hands of a dentist or with a treatment administered by you.

 

1. Gum Disease


One of the most common signs that you have gum diseases is bleeding. If you notice blood in the sink more often when you brush your teeth, this is a clear sign of gum disease. Gum disease means that you have infected gums, which can worsen over time if not treated properly, as the infection can reach the rest of your gum line and down to the bone, causing you an immense amount of pain. The mild version of gum disease is called gingivitis, while the more serious cases are called periodontitis. In any case, both these conditions are dangerous to your health, as they’ve proven to increase the risk of other conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, pneumonia, osteoporosis, and, worst of all, cancer. So, while the early stages of gum disease may not look dangerous, it can certainly cause a grave threat to your health; therefore, treating it as soon as possible is of the utmost importance.

 

The main symptoms of gum disease are swelling in the gum area, bad breath, shifting teeth, and sensitivity, which you’ll notice when drinking cold or hot beverages.


Prevention and Treatment


To control gum disease, your dentist works on controlling the infection itself, so the first thing your dentist will start with is probably deep cleaning, which is implemented with special tools that go under the gum line. However, if that doesn’t work, your doctor will consider effective dental problems treatment, like antibiotic gels, dental solutions, or oral antibiotics, which come in the form of tablets or capsules and are quite effective against serious infections. If these treatments still prove ineffective and there is still pain present in your gums, then your dentist might recommend undergoing surgery.

 

● Flap Surgery: if tartar tends to form around your teeth and underneath the gum line, the surgeon lifts the gum line to clean the tartar, then stitches it back in place.
● Gum Graft Surgery: this surgery is usually done for sensitive teeth and exposed roots, as the doctor takes a part of your palate to cover your roots.


2. Cavities


Cavities, which are most commonly known as tooth decay, are holes or openings created in the hard surface of your teeth that cause permanent damage and can’t be treated naturally. Cavities can happen for a couple of reasons, mainly due to bacteria, snacking on sugary foods or drinks, and poor teeth cleaning. Because these habits are more common in teenagers and children, you’ll often find these problems associated with this age class, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find adults suffering from cavities as well, as it is one of the most common oral health problems dentists have to treat. If left untreated, cavities will become larger and might cause tremendous pain, especially if the cavity has reached your roots, which can cause tooth infection and, in worst-case scenarios, result in tooth loss.


Prevention and Treatment


To avoid getting cavities in the first place, you need to follow good dental hygiene practices that can work for your lifestyle. The simplest thing to do is brushing your teeth each time after you eat or drink, preferably with fluoride toothpaste, or you can clean your teeth twice a day with floss or an interdental cleaner. Also, make a habit of going to your dentist to do a professional cleaning and have oral checkups every now and then. In addition to this, consider fluoride-based oral treatments and using fluoride to rinse your mouth. The last thing that you can do is reduce the number of snacks and sugar consumption and substitute them with healthier, and tooth-friendly options, like fruits, vegetables, and unsweetened beverages.

 

If your tooth has decayed beyond hope, then you’ll have to go see a dentist and perform an oral treatment. Your dentist might choose to treat your teeth with fillings, which are basically made of tooth-colored materials, like resins or porcelain. Your dentist may also choose to replace your whole tooth with a crown if your tooth is seriously damaged or he may recommend removing the whole tooth in serious cases, leaving a gap between your teeth, which can be replaced with a dental implant later.


3. Bad Breath


Bad breath or halitosis, is a medical condition that affects about 25% of all people across the world, leading to severe anxiety and embarrassment once a person finds out that they are plagued with this condition. Your bad breath problem might be attributed to poor dental hygiene, dry mouth, which allows odors to be released, smoking, and the digestion of certain food types, like onions and garlic.


Prevention and Treatment


There are simple remedies that you can do in your own house to prevent having bad breath, such as brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing, or using an interdental cleaner. Brushing your tongue with a tongue scraper is particularly important, especially if you habitually smoke or suffer from dry mouth, as bacteria and dead cells tend to accumulate on the tongue in these cases and cause unpleasant odors. If your bad breath persists, you’ll have to follow a diet, which excludes foods that cause unpleasant odors, like garlic, onion, and spicy food. You might also reduce your coffee consumption, as it causes bad coffee breath. Some people prefer to go to the dentist to rid them of their bad breath, so their dentist will perform thorough teeth cleaning twice a year and might recommend using a toothpaste with an antibacterial agent in it as well.


4. Tooth Erosion


Tooth erosion happens due to damage to the enamel of the teeth, as they begin to wear and weaken due to being exposed to acids for a long while. This can happen due to health issues, like extensive vomiting and/ or acid reflux, or due to consuming a lot of soft drinks, like sports drinks, carbonated soda, and fruit drinks, which tend to have a high level of acidity. If you are on medication, following a diet that is high in starches and sugar, or have a particularly dry mouth, then you’re prone to have tooth erosion as well. Note that erosion always happens because of extensive exposure to acids and not bacteria.


Prevention and Treatment


To avoid eroding your enamel, you’ll have to follow the standard practices of teeth maintenance that we’ve mentioned before, like brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly. You can also follow simple methods to avoid getting acid on your teeth, such as drinking acidic drinks with straws and consuming small amounts of acidic foods. If your teeth are terribly eroded, then you might want to eliminate these foods and beverages from your diet and consume other healthier items, like fruits and vegetables, which have a safe amount of acidic content in them. The mouth can also remain acidic for hours after consuming snacks, so brushing your teeth after eating them might mitigate the problem. Also, if possible, chew on sugar-free gum, as it will increase your saliva production 10 times more than normal, thus making your mouth less dry.



5. Sensitive Teeth


We’ve all experienced the pain of tooth sensitivity at some point in our lives. It is the pain that we experience when we eat ice cream, iced drinks, or hot drinks. You might even experience pain during flossing or brushing your teeth. Tooth sensitivity can also be caused by tooth abscess or cracked tooth, cases that can only be treated by going to the dentist. You might experience tooth sensitivity right after a root canal or a filling, but it will be temporary in that case and doesn’t need treatment. You can also have a thin enamel, which causes natural dentin hypersensitivity.


Prevention and Treatment


One of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity is over-brushing your teeth, which causes gum loss over time. This can be avoided by carefully using a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid thinning your gums. You should also use an effective sensitivity toothpaste to brush your teeth two times a day and use floss afterward. Acidic drinks and foods can cause tooth erosion, but they can also cause tremendous pain on your sensitive teeth, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. Make sure to apply an oral health regimen that involves using a sensitivity mouthwash, which can have a long-term positive impact on your oral hygiene. If you still notice signs of tooth sensitivity, even after using these methods, be sure to visit your dentist to give you a proper diagnosis.


6. Tooth Discoloration


Discolored teeth can cause embarrassment to anyone, but the good thing is that they are easy to prevent and treat. To have your white teeth back again, you’ll need to understand how it happens in the first place. Tooth discoloration may happen due to extrinsic reasons, intrinsic reasons, or age-related reasons.

● Extrinsic Reasons: this ideally happens due to eating certain foods or beverages that can affect the color of the enamel. Tobacco and some types of beverages can cause discoloration as well as. These can be treated easily with home solutions.


● Intrinsic Reasons: this type of coloration will appear within the teeth and will make them look grayish. This is harder to treat than discoloration caused by extrinsic reasons, as it is caused by medication, tooth decay, or simply due to genetics.

 

● Age-related Reasons: your teeth will start to lose their natural color the older you become, rendering them weak and giving them a yellowish appearance. This can also be tied to genetics, so keep in mind to check with your doctor to determine the reason why you have teeth discoloration.


Prevention and Treatment


Standard practices to prevent this from happening is to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly if you’ve just eaten pigmented food. You should do this to remove the particles stuck to your teeth. You can also simply rinse your mouth with water to get rid of some of these particles. Following a good oral health regimen daily should also help you, so make sure to brush your teeth twice a day with a whitening toothpaste. You should also reconsider your habits, so if you’re smoking, for example, explain to your doctor that you want to apply for a cessation program to quit smoking. Also, try to change your diet by eliminating foods and beverages that can stain your teeth.

 

Sometimes, teeth discoloration can be very hard to prevent; thus, there are multiple treatments that your doctor might administer to bring back your pearly whites to their original state. In-office treatments involve your dentist using treatments that contain a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide. The results of these treatments are instant and last for a longer while than the typical home treatments. Home treatments, on the other hand, involve using trays, to which you can add gel and wear it for one hour every day. Of course, this type of treatment should be recommended and supervised by your dentist.

 

Oral health may sound complex at first, especially if you’ve seen some cases over the internet with irreparable damage dealt with someone’s teeth, but with a daily oral health routine, a healthy diet, which contains a lot of vegetables, fruits, and small amounts of snacks and sugary foods, you’ll surely achieve the optimum oral your teeth can get.

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