Six Common Diseases of the Mouth and How to Prevent Them

Cavities, also known as dental caries, are one of the most common oral diseases. Fortunately, they can be prevented with proper oral hygiene at home. Other common oral diseases include gum disease, oral infectious diseases, and oral cancer. Oral injuries are not a disease in and of themselves, but they can be prevented by avoiding unsafe conditions, accidents, and violence.

Most oral health conditions are preventable and treatable in their early stages. The most common are cavities, periodontal disease, tooth loss, and oral cancers. Other conditions of public health importance include orofacial clefts, noma (a serious gangrenous disease that mainly affects children), and oral injuries. Dental and oral health is an essential part of overall health and well-being.

Poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, as well as being linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are not caused by fever or colds but can be triggered by them. The virus that causes cold sores is usually transmitted through kissing, sharing utensils, or other close contact. Over-the-counter creams and ointments can help ease discomfort and speed healing.

Frequent ulcers may require a prescription.Other problems in the upper part of the mouth include canker sores, TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), bad breath, and mouth cancer. Bone grafting may be necessary when gum disease damages the bone surrounding the root of the tooth.Most oral diseases and conditions share modifiable risk factors such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, an unhealthy diet high in free sugars (which is common to the four major non-communicable diseases: cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes). People with diabetes have a higher risk of oral infections, gum disease, and periodontitis. The prevalence of major oral diseases continues to increase worldwide due to urbanization and changes in living conditions.Socioeconomic status (income, occupation, education level) is strongly associated with the prevalence and severity of oral diseases.

If prevention fails, most oral diseases and injuries can be successfully treated if identified early. Noma mainly affects children aged 2 to 6 who suffer from malnutrition, infectious diseases, extreme poverty with poor oral hygiene, or a weakened immune system.Advanced gum disease damages the bone that supports the teeth and is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Tooth loss is often the end point of a lifelong history of oral disease caused by advanced tooth decay or severe periodontal disease but can also be due to trauma or other causes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 3.5 billion people worldwide suffer from oral diseases.Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth can be caused by continuous mouth breathing, dry mouth, tooth decay (a sign of gum disease), or even diabetes.

Fortunately, most oral diseases can be prevented with proper hygiene at home.

Leave Reply

Required fields are marked *