Dentists tell us at each visit that we need to brush at least twice daily. We know we should be flossing every day. Rinsing our mouths also helps us fight cavities. We should avoid foods high in sugar and other tooth damaging ingredients. What happens when we don’t heed these suggestions?
There are several things that can go wrong in our mouths due to poor oral health. Some of them are easily remedied by making changes in our daily habits, while others require intervention by a dentist or oral surgeon. The following are some of the most common diseases related to poor Oral Health.
Gingivitis is a common ailment that most people have to some degree. It is the inflammation of the gums, most often at the gum line. Those who do not brush their teeth enough or floss regularly will notice swollen, red gums. It can occur to different degrees and is reversible through adopting good oral habits such as daily brushing, flossing, and dentist visits. When it is left untreated it will continue to get worse, eventually turning to gum disease.
–Periodontal Disease (gum disease)
When gingivitis progresses too far, the symptoms will begin to get worse. People will have pain, irritation, tenderness, and bleeding of the gums. The gums will begin to pull away from the teeth, leaving spaces that are left open to bacteria and infection. These infections, combined with the body’s natural immune defenses, begin to break down the connective tissues and bones that hold the teeth into the body. If allowed to continue, the teeth will ultimately loosen and have to be removed.
A dental abscess is an infection that occurs in the mouth that begins from an infected cavity. These types of abscesses are often found in people that have poor oral health habits, such as not brushing or flossing often enough. When a cavity becomes infected and it is not treated, the bacteria can travel to different areas in the mouth. The infection site can begin to collect pus and become very painful. While some abscesses will rupture and drain on their own, it is best advised to have them treated by a dentist, often by a Dental Surgery called a root canal.
Also called cottonmouth or dry mouth, xerostomia can be a byproduct of poor oral health. Xerostomia is when the mouth is not able to produce enough saliva, which can leave teeth and gums vulnerable to the development of damaging plaques and tooth decay.
Halitosis is the medical term for chronic bad breath. Halitosis is more than just “morning breath.” It is persistent and often caused by infections in the mouth due to decay, or poor oral health.
The good news about poor oral health is that you can turn your dental habits around at any time and make a change. Eating less sugar, drinking less soda, flossing daily, brushing regularly, and visiting your dentist for regular exams and cleanings can make a big impact on your previously poor oral health.