Tooth decay is a preventable disease. While it might not endanger your life, it definitely can negatively impact your quality of life.
Whenever your teeth and gums are constantly exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids form that begin to eat away at your tooth enamel. High carbohydrate foods such as cookies, candy, soft drinks and even fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally exists in your mouth and they form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the enamel of teeth, resulting in tooth decay.
Most people don’t realize that your teeth actually expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain for people with sensitive teeth. Also, over time, your tooth enamel can be worn down, gums recede or teeth can develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Breathing cold air can be painful for those with very sensitive teeth.
Gum disease is a much more serious condition than most people realize. In recent years, the bacterial inflammation involved with gum disease has been linked to varied chronic health problems like stroke, coronary artery disease, and premature low birth weight babies. Our doctors and hygienists are careful to identify and treat gum disease early to keep you and your mouth healthy.
Gum, or periodontal disease can cause inflammation, and even tooth loss and bone damage. Gum disease starts with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Gums in the early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, can bleed easily and become swollen and red. As the disease progresses to periodontal disease, teeth can fall out or need to be extracted by a dentist. Gum disease is totally 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.
Periodontal means “the tissue around the teeth.” Periodontists are specialists in the treatment and surgery of this area, which is often plagued by gum disease. Plaque is the most common thing causing gum disease.
Unfortunately, gum disease problems are often only discovered after they have existed for an extended period of time. Proper oral hygiene, including daily dental care and regular dental checkups can minimize the risk of gum disease. Gum disease ranges from mild (gingivitis) to moderate and severe (periodontitis). Treatments are available for every level of gum disease.
Common problems associated with gum disease include:
- “Long” teeth (caused by receding gum lines exposing the root portions of your teeth)
- Discolored or deteriorating tooth structure
- Gum depressions (holes in between the teeth in the gum tissue)
- Infected gum line (discoloration or inflammation of the gum tissue)
- Tooth loss or loose teeth
The effects of gum disease can be very damaging to your dental health. However, through proper preventive care and oral hygiene, you can avoid these types of problems.
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Daily brushing and flossing helps prevent buildup of food particles, bacteria and plaque in your mouth. Any food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and then cause bad breath. While certain foods may create temporary bad breath, chronic bad breath tends to be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem.
Canker sores are small sores inside the mouth that often occur repeatedly. These generally last one or two weeks, but the duration of canker sores can be shortened by the use of an antimicrobial mouthwash or topical agent. A canker sore has a white or gray base surrounded by a red border.
A bite that does not meet properly can be inherited, or some types may be acquired. Some causes of an improper bite include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or a misaligned jaw. Accidents or things like finger or thumb sucking over an extended period of time, may cause this type of problem.