Dental health or also known as oral health is an essential part of our overall well-being and needs the same amount of care as any other part of the body. In fact, dental health is a key indicator of one’s overall wellbeing and quality of life. However, oftentimes oral health is neglected until serious complications and issues start arising. Poor oral health can cause a lot of dental problems including:
- Bad breath
- Tooth decay
- Gum diseases (Periodontal)
- Heart problems
- Oral cancer
- Mouth sores
- Tooth erosion
- Tooth sensitivity
- Stained teeth
- Cracked tooth
- Sensitivity to cold
Dental problems are non-communicable but have a tendency to last a lifetime if not cured on time. They can be extremely painful and cause discomfort, disfigurement and also death in rare, serious cases. Maintaining oral health is important and the sooner one realizes the value of dental health, the better care can be taken. As of today, awareness about dental health and problems is extremely poor and there is a dire need to understand the direct negative relationship of dental problems with overall health and wellbeing. Dental problems are bad but they can easily be prevented if proper precautions are taken and essential care is provided. A few methods including brushing twice a day, flossing every day, chewing properly, and getting routine dental checkups can prove very useful in maintenance of dental health and avoiding dental problems.
More so, it is also very critical to know the symptoms of dental problems, as well as the reasons and factors that cause dental problems so that proper medical care can be attained and effective precautions can be taken.
General symptoms of dental problems include
- Long lasting ulcers and sores
- Tender and painful mouth areas that are showing no healing signs
- Bad breath
- Bleeding or swollen gums
- Sensitivity to cold or hot items
- Absurd sensitivity to cold temperatures
- Trouble chewing or biting
- Loss of teeth
- Decaying gums
- Clicking of jaw
- Pain in jaw
- Swelling in the jaw bone, face or cheek
- Dry mouth
- Sour saliva
However, these symptoms are subjective and their intensity also varies per case. It is advisable to identify symptoms at early stage and seek a dentist’s consult. More so, if any of these symptoms are accompanied by high fever and swollen face or neck, emergency medical treatment should be taken.
Causes of dental problems
The mouth attracts and collects diverse bacteria, viruses, and fungi in different amounts. Some of these are normal inhabitants and make up for the essential mouth flora, while there are many which are present in negligible quantities and hence, are harmless. However, there are those that flourish in unreasonable quantities in the mouth leading to a host of dental problems. Food that is high in sugar that causes acid-causing bacteria to dissolve the tooth enamel and create cavities.
Further, every day activities of the mouth tend to accumulate a sticky material known as plaque near the gum line. This accumulated plaque later hardens and sinks in the tooth, causing gingivitis where the gums are inflated and cause pain and bleeding. Weakened gums lose the hold of teeth over a period of time, creating a gap which can potentially lead to build up of pus that is extremely problematic and painful. This condition is also referred to as periodontitis. Sometimes dental problems may be due to genetic problems or family history.
While there a host of dental problems and the varied causes, but all of those can be prevented provided reasons for the dental problems are known so that one can avoid them to ensure optimum oral health.
Reasons for dental problems one must avoid
- Drinking soda
- Bedtime snacking
- Chewing on ice
- Gummy candies
- High-sugar foods and drinks
- Sports drinks
- Constant snacking and binge eating
- Excessive consumption of tea
- Smoking and consumption of tobacco in any form
- Poor brushing habits
- Lack of flossing
- Lack of dental checkups
- Low fibre, high-fat and high-sugar diet
While all of these reasons contribute towards dental problems, the severity of each depends on person-to-person. Moreover, these reasons can worsen the effect on oral health if they are accompanied by other health problems such as diabetes, heart problems, etc. since oral health is directly related to one’s health. Bacteria from dental problems can spread to the bloodstream causing infections in the heart valves which can worsen the impact. Thus, ensure to avoid these reasons for dental problems for healthy teeth.
In cases of where dental problems need medical attention, a visit to the dentist must not be delayed. A dentist may recommend professional cleaning, fluoride treatment, antibiotics, fillings, crown, sealants, root canal, etc. to treat dental problems. In serious cases, surgery may also be suggested such as flap surgery, bone grafting, soft tissue grafting, tooth extraction, and dental implants.
However, it is advisable to take precautions and follow attentive care methods to avoid all dental problems and ensure good oral health. That said, scheduled visits to the dentist and professional cleaning go a long way in keeping fine dental health.