Six Common Diseases of the Mouth and Teeth: What You Need to Know

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental diseases, and it's one of the main outcomes of poor oral hygiene. Gingivitis is the medical term for the early stages of gum disease, and it's caused by bacteria that form a film, called plaque, on the surface of the teeth. This bacteria produces acids from the sugars in food that corrode and damage the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth. Dental care begins with evaluating the extent of tooth decay and recommending a course of action, which can include fillings, crowns, root canals, extractions, or dental implants or dentures.

You can help prevent cavities by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly (twice a day) and having regular checkups with your dentist to scrape off plaque.Halitosis (bad breath) is another common dental problem. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, pregnancy, diabetes, crooked teeth, and gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. This occurs when the gum bags become infected and can cause damage to the bone and tissue that support the teeth.

Dental care for periodontitis includes topical antibiotics to treat the infection or referral to a periodontist. If you have sensitive teeth, there are types of toothpaste and mouthwashes specifically designed for use with sensitive teeth. Your dentist may also recommend fluoride treatment, a crown, a gum graft, or a root canal.Hand, foot and mouth disease is related to gum disease and mainly affects children under 10 years old during summer and fall months. Symptoms include a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, fever, and blisters that form on the back of the mouth.

Herpangina normally lasts three to five days.You can prevent most common oral diseases in your home by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly (twice a day) and having regular checkups with your dentist. These diseases include dental cavities, gum disease, oral infectious diseases, oral cancer, tooth erosion, and oral cancer. Mouthwash only masks bad breath; if you have chronic bad breath visit your dentist to see what's behind it.Oral cancer is a common and fatal disease; however it is often curable if diagnosed and treated in the early stages. Regular visits to the dentist can help detect oral cancer early.

Ask your dentist if an oral cancer exam is part of your regular checkup.Mouth sores are not usually a cause for concern unless they last longer than two weeks. Tooth erosion is caused by acid that attacks the enamel; symptoms can range from tenderness to more serious problems such as cracking. Tooth erosion is common but can be easily prevented with proper oral care.Tooth decay is the second most common health problem in the United States; only the common cold can overcome it. The best way to prevent tooth decay is to brush your teeth twice a day, floss every day, and have regular dental checkups.

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