Freedom from dental problems is something many of us take for granted. That’s why when we have dental pain, it feels like an aggravating full-on assault.
Oral discomfort is something we can’t and shouldn’t ignore. Stay informed and you’ll steer clear of oral pain and disease. Here are four things you want to avoid.
1) Gum Disease (Periodontitis)
Gum disease happens in stages. In its earliest form, it’s a mild inflammation where the gums are inflamed (gingivitis) and bleed easily. Regular brushing and flossing remove sticky plaque and food particles keeping the gums happy and healthy. Long term irritated gums lead to periodontitis. When this happens, the gums pull away from the teeth creating pockets that become infected. Untreated, bones, gums, and tissue suffer permanent damage.
2) Mouth Sores
People get mouth sores from time to time for various reasons. They typically are found on the lips, gum, tongue, or roof of the mouth while some sores are found on the esophagus. Canker sores are the most common and don’t require medical attention unless they stick around for more than two weeks. Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are highly contagious and are the result of herpes simplex virus. These sores come and go, but never completely heal. Lastly, there’s oral thrush which is caused by a yeast infection of the mouth and is treatable.
3) Tooth Decay
When the bacteria found in plaque has time to settle and stick to your teeth, acid is created that starts to erode the enamel and form tiny holes. These holes quickly become cavities. Sugars and carbohydrates create the most bacteria. Eating healthy and maintaining a good oral hygiene routine helps keep your mouth cavity-free.
4) Oral Cancer
The most serious dental concern of all is cancer. Mouth cancer doesn’t necessarily begin with pain. It often will present as a lump or growth somewhere in the mouth. If you notice anything unusual on the lips, tongue, cheeks, or back of the throat, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and see your dentist or family doctor as soon as possible. Some oral cancers are caused by smoking, smokeless tobacco, excessive alcohol consumption, human papillomavirus, or family history of cancer.
From all of us at Asheville Dental, we hope your summer is off to a wonderful start. Contact us with any questions you have regarding your oral care and make sure you’re taking care of your teeth this season.