Our mouths are full of bacterial cells, and while some are helpful, others can cause a lot of harm. Bacteria are only one factor of the many oral health diseases that can affect our oral health. In this article, we review a few common dental diseases and their causes.
1. Gum Disease
If you have been told that you have periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, it is a good indication that you need to pay more attention to looking after your gums. This common dental disease is typically the result of failing to floss your teeth. The buildup of harmful bacteria along your gum line eventually leads to conditions such as periodontitis and gingivitis, the first stages of gum disease.
Some symptoms of gum disease include:
- Tender, swollen, and painful gums
- Increasing gaps between teeth
- Consistent mouth sores
- Bleeding of the gums after brushing or flossing
Luckily, when caught early by a dentist in Red Deer , periodontal disease can be easily managed and even reversed. This is why it is so important to keep up with regular visits to a dentist near you for professional teeth cleanings and checkups.
More commonly known as “bad breath,” this is a chronic condition that can be caused by numerous factors, including smoking, poor dental health, and respiratory tract infections. It can also occur as a side-effect of gingivitis or periodontitis, which, as mentioned above, are caused due to a buildup of tartar and plaque on the gums. Dealing with halitosis can mean having anxiety in social settings.
The main symptoms of halitosis are:
- Dry or cracked mouth
- Bad-smelling breath
- Consistent metallic or bitter taste
- Thick, mucousy saliva
You can alleviate symptoms of halitosis by adhering to a strict oral hygiene routine and visiting your dentist for regular dental cleanings. You can also use an antiseptic mouthwash to get rid of excess bacteria after eating and before bed. Additionally, staying hydrated throughout the day can lessen symptoms of bad breath.
3. Cavities and Tooth Decay
Dentists frequently see patients who seek dental treatment because of tooth decay, which affects millions of adults and children worldwide. Cavities develop as a result of tooth decay that develops due to a lack of good oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing and consuming an excessive quantity of acidic and sugary foods. These can erode the tooth enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to cavity-causing bacteria.
Here are the most common symptoms of cavities and tooth decay:
- Sharp pain around the affected tooth or teeth
- Dark brown or grey spots on the surface of your teeth
- Inflamed gums surrounding the affected tooth or teeth
- Trouble chewing foods due to pain and sensitivity
A dentist will treat your tooth decay by scraping away the bacteria from the tooth and replacing the decayed portion of the tooth with a composite or amalgam filling material.
4. Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is a form of oral infection caused by the growth of Candida fungus inside the mouth. This usually only occurs in infants and adults with compromised immune systems. Oral thrush is very noticeable because it results in white lesions spread over the cheeks and tongue. If left untreated for too long, thrush can cause problems with the throat and tonsils and even cause swallowing challenges.
Some of the most common oral thrush symptoms are:
- Spotty, white sores covering the inner linings of the mouth
- Burning sensations when trying to swallow
- Irritation and cracks in the corners of the mouth
- A dull sense of taste
- Reduced appetite
The best way to prevent oral thrush is to stick to an oral hygiene routine of daily brushing and flossing. When you are diagnosed with thrush, your dentist will prescribe a round of antibiotics to kill the fungal spores and prevent the infection from progressing.
This one may be surprising. While diabetes is not a common dental disease itself, many studies have found a strong link between oral health conditions and diabetes. Advanced gum disease can lead to problems with blood sugar levels and can actually lead to type 2 diabetes in certain individuals. Alternatively, those who have diabetes may also have a weakened immune system, making them vulnerable to infections in the mouth.
Here are some ways that diabetes presents in the mouth:
- Halitosis (caused by ketones)
- Dry mouth
- Irregular blood sugar due to periodontal disease
Visiting your dental clinic on a regular basis will ensure that none of the above common dental diseases will go undetected. If you are dealing with the late stages of any of these dental health conditions, then your dentist will be able to offer you the tools and treatment to alleviate your symptoms and restore your oral health. Don’t hesitate to contact your oral healthcare provider today.