Oral Health Basics: Importance and Symptoms

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Jimmy Fallon has correctly said, “Everyone looks so much better when they smile”. After all, who doesn’t love their pearly smiles? Smile is the most attractive feature of an individual.

Everyone desires a beautiful smile, but we often ignore taking care of it. We are much more concerned about our overall health, and oral health is often taken for granted. Dental care is on the lower scale of focus-areas in many geographies of the world.

Oral health maintenance is essential for overall health maintenance, as well. An unhealthy mouth is a risk factor for several systemic diseases such as heart problems, stroke, and poorly controlled diabetes. Recent studies link the bacteria that cause gum disease and the progression of oral cancer.

Good oral hygiene is necessary to prevent dental problems such as tooth decay (caries), gum diseases, bad breath, tooth loss, etc.Usually, regular brushing and flossing accompanied by the natural body defences, keep a check on the bacteria. But when oral hygiene is not maintained correctly, these bacteria reach levels that are detrimental to oral health. The result of this carelessness is dental infections causing dental issues like dental caries, gum diseases such as gingivitis, periodontitis, halitosis (bad breath), etc.

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Symptoms of Oral Issues

Regular dental visits are essential to maintain teeth and gums healthy. However, it is quite uncommon to witness routine dental check-ups, especially in developing countries. Thus, having a general awareness of oral incidences is imperative. There are many symptoms which act as early warning signs for oral issues. These should not be ignored and require dentist consultation.

1. Sudden sensitivity to hot or cold foods –

Sensitive teeth are a result of a lot of reasons, including decayed or fractured teeth, worn-out fillings, gum diseases, or exposed tooth roots due to receded gums, enamel abrasion, etc.

2. Chronic bad breath –

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Multiple factors cause bad breath or halitosis. These included the type of food eaten, improper cleaning of the mouth, dry mouth, smoking, and medical conditions. Chronic bad breath might also be a sign of gum disease

3. Swollen and bleeding gums after brushing or flossing –

Bleeding gums are the indicators of early gum disease or gingivitis. It can also be due to hard brushing or improper flossing

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4. Ulcers, sores, or areas of tenderness –

Mouth sores are of various types. These include canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia, candidiasis, etc. Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, denture irritation, irritation from braces, and sharp tooth or filling may cause these mouth sores

5. Toothache or pain, pain while chewing or biting –

Most commonly, toothache indicates a cavity but might also be due to gum disease. Abscess or impacted might also cause a toothache

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6. Receding gums –

A common cause for gum recession is the physical wear caused by vigorous tooth brushing or using a hard bristle brush.

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7. Dry mouth –

Dry mouth, also known as Xerostomia, occurs when the salivary glands in the mouth do not produce enough saliva. It causes a dry or parched feeling in the mouth, which can also cause bad breath or cracked lips. It might occur as a side effect of medication or a symptom of a medical disorder. An example is diabetes, that can also affect saliva production and lead to dry mouth.

These are the most common symptoms that indicate caution. So, next time if you ever notice such warning signs, be mindful to visit a dentist as soon as possible.

Remember, Prevention is always better than cure.

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