Oral Health Problems and Dental Hygiene

You will surely agree with me that a healthy smile is a bonus at any given age. Oral health is the practice of keeping your teeth and mouth clean to avoid dental problems such as bad breath, gingivitis and dental cavities. You don’t have to own any degree or certificate in oral health to keep your mouth and teeth clean and healthy, you only need the basics such as knowing how to identify the common oral ailments and some common oral health practices.

Common oral diseases and ailments

– Bad breath: bad breath, also called halitosis, can be really embarrassing. Bad breath is usually associated with certain dental conditions. Gum disease, oral cancer, cavities, bacteria on the tongue and dry mouth are some of the problems that cause bad breath. Using mouthwash only covers the odor for a while but you do need to see a dental doctor for a comprehensive checkup.

– Tooth decay: also known as cavities, is the second most common oral problem. Tooth decay develops when plague combines with sugars or starches found in foods we eat. The combination forms acids that attack the tooth enamel. The best practice to prevent tooth decay is by flossing, brushing twice a day and attending regular dental checkups.

– Gum (periodontal) disease: studies reveal that gum disease is linked to strokes and heart attacks. Regular checkups, daily brushing and flossing play a major role on controlling the ailment.

– Oral cancer: this is a serious and quite deadly disease that ails millions of people. Oral cancer affects the mouth, throat or lips and can be effectively controlled if diagnosed in the early stage.

– Mouth sores: They do come in different shapes and sizes and can be quite bothersome. They are however not a serious medical disorder and you don’t need to worry about them unless they last for over two weeks. They usually disappear after a short while. The commonest mouth sores are fever blisters, canker sore, cold sores, thrush and ulcers.

– Tooth sensitivity is basically the experiencing of discomfort or pain on the teeth from contact with cold air, sweets, hot drinks, ice cream or cold drinks. In extreme cases, tooth sensitivity can be experienced even during brushing or flossing.

– Dry mouth, also known as Xerostomia, is a condition that causes drying in the mouth and results in difficulty to swallow, eat, speak or taste. This dryness results from the failure of the salivary glands to work properly. Luckily, there is treatment readily available if most of the local dental clinics.

Best oral health practices

Most dental diseases and general ailments result from bad dental practices and failure to observe routine medical and hygiene routines. Good oral health practices helps greatly in cutting down the occurrence of bacterial, fungal and other related disease.

These practices include:

– regular brushing using appropriate brushing techniques, twice a day is the most recommended.

– flossing daily

– eating balanced diet and limiting intake of sugary snacks and foods

– rinsing your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash as may be advised by the dentist.

– use of dental products with fluoride as one of the ingredients, including toothpaste

– provide plenty of milk in the diet to supplement calcium for strengthening the teeth.

– avoid smoking as it can cause oral cancer, bad breath, stained teeth and other dental complications

Observing the above oral health practices in addition to regular dental checkups highly reduces the cases of chronic dental disease attacks and general ailments. It is worth noting that poor oral health can adversely affect the health condition of other body parts and should therefore be closely monitored and remedied where necessary.

Top Advantages of Seeking Support From Pediatric Dentists for Your Kids’ Oral Health

As an adult, almost everyone faces a twinge of fear when visiting a dentist. Therefore it is but natural for a child to feel far greater apprehensions under the same circumstances. Once this fear sets in, it is very difficult to make it go away. Kid’s dentists trains in a way to make any child feel at ease by creating an atmosphere of comfort and humor. Such an environment keeps them engaged making it easier to handle their oral issues at the same time. Their offices, waiting rooms and even the examining rooms are all designed to do this.

Paving for a Healthy Oral Health

Pediatric dentistry provides dentists with advanced knowledge of treating their smaller patients. Children have varying dentistry needs at every phase of their childhood. As they grow, they develop gums and milk teeth which makes the way to their secondary or permanent set of teeth. These specific needs mean that oral care at every stage is of the utmost importance. During the milk teeth phase, it is imperative to keep oral care at the highest consideration. Preventing a cavity or taking care of one, if-and-when it arises is important. If these are not taken care of, there are chances they may affect the health or appearance of the second set of teeth.

Keeping a Check on New Teeth

As a children’s dentist, the scope of knowledge and focus required is different than a dentist treating adults. It is important to take your kids for regular check-ups which help make sure continued good health of teeth and gums throughout growing years. These visits will help to find potential problems like cavities or help to find solution when activities like thumb-sucking can slightly change the angle of a new developing tooth. They can give you a list of do’s and don’ts which can prevent any problems from arising. Habits like allowing children to fall asleep with their mouth full of milk etc. can cause the teeth to become weak and prone to cavities.

Natural Care for Long Lasting Oral Health

There are innumerable diseases linked with the teeth and oral care. By getting professional advice at the right time, you can help prevent and even detect many ailments kids could be prone to. Finding these issues is the first step of treatment and the only way to do that is to visit a doctor who knows and understands your kid’s teeth and can recommend about proper oral care. Children’s dentistry has taught them to see and understand any small changes that may occur and to take note of the harmful ones in the long run. By preventing any problems form arising, you will be giving your child a long-lasting and healthy oral care habits and oral health.

While a qualified dentist is professional and patient, pediatric dentists need to have that extra training to handle the varying needs of a growing child.

How Heart Disease and Oral Health Are Connected

Many have likely heard from their dentist or others how oral health is essential for one’s overall health, with it being impossible for one to be totally isolated from the other. As of recent calculations, over 80 percent of Americans live with periodontal disease, with many usually never receiving a formal diagnosis.

This could be because a patient’s teeth might feel fine, thus he or she avoids the dentist, and doctor’s visits are rarely focused on a patient’s oral health. However, patients may be surprised to learn there could be a couple of links between heart disease and oral health.

For instance, recent studies indicate that if someone has mild or advanced gum disease, he or she has a greater chance of developing heart disease compared to someone who has healthy gums. As well, oral health can provide warning signs for doctors on a variety of conditions and diseases, such as those involving the heart.

How are They Related?

Heart disease and oral health are connected due to bacteria as well as other germs spreading from the mouth to different parts of the body through the bloodstream. If they spread to the heart, these bacteria could attach to any area with damage, thereby causing inflammation.

This could lead to illnesses like endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart’s inner lining. As well, other conditions like stroke or clogged arteries (atherosclerosis) have been linked with inflammation that is caused by bacteria of the mouth.

Which Patients are at Risk?

Individuals with long-term gum conditions-gingivitis, advanced periodontal disease-are the most prone to heart disease brought on by oral health, especially if it continues to be unmanaged or undiagnosed. The bacteria from gum infections can pass into the bloodstream and attach to blood vessels, thereby increasing one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

However, even without clear gum inflammation, poor oral hygiene in and of itself has the risk of causing gum disease, the bacteria of which could also get into the bloodstream and cause raised C-reactive protein-a sign of inflammation within blood vessels, which increases the risk of developing heart disease and even stroke.


To prevent the risk of heart disease, patients can start by avoiding the onset of gum disease. Some common symptoms include the following:

  • Swollen, red gums that are sore to touch
  • Bleeding gums during eating, brushing, or flossing
  • Pus and other symptoms of infection around the teeth and gums
  • Receded gums
  • Bad breath (halitosis) or a bad taste
  • Teeth that feel loose or like they’re moving away from other teeth

Preventative Measures

Regular dental exams and good oral hygiene are the best ways of protecting yourself from developing gum disease. This includes brushing twice per day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste as well as flossing at least once daily.