Caries, or tooth decay, is a preventable disease. While caries might not endanger your life, they may negatively impact your quality of life.
When your teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids may form that begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth and form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth, with tooth decay resulting.
Tooth decay leads to infection of the dental and oral structures that can become life threatening and therefore should not be ignored.
Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Just breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth.
Sensitive teeth may be an indication that problems are developing that need professional care.
Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Gums in the early stage of disease, or gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing. One indicator of gum disease is consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
Patients with periodontal disease are more likely to suffer from atherosclerosis — a narrowing of the arteries that can lead to stroke or heart attack — than their counterparts with healthy gums.
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Daily brushing and flossing helps to prevent the buildup of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods, such as garlic or anchovies, may create temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease and other dental problems. Halitosis or oders that are not corrected by improved dental hygiene of restorative care, may indicate general health concerns that must be addressed.
Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents. The canker sore has a white or gray base surrounded by a red border.
Sores or lesions in the oral cavity are indication of injury, disease, or changes in your general health. This is why we examine your mouth ar each visit for any evidence of medical as well as dental concerns. While aphthous ulcers will disappear and possibly reappear in cycles, there are similar conditions that require treatment. Be aware of changes in your mouth. Sores that last more than two weeks or worsen with time should be examined.
REMEMBER: "THE MOUTH IS THE MIRROR TO YOUR BODY"
A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types may be acquired. Some causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period of time, may cause malocclusions. These problems usually progress with age and may make it difficult or impossible to effectively clean the teeth keeping the gums, jaws and bone support to the teeth healthy. Function as well as appearance are important when evaluating your dental health.