You can’t be healthy without good oral or dental health. According to Dental Hygiene Canada, Canadians spend approximately $13 billion dollars a year on oral health care, diseases, and injuries that are almost all preventable. The good news is brushing twice a day, flossing, eating properly and regular dental check-ups are essential steps in preventing dental problems. Educating yourself about common dental problems and their causes can also go a long way in prevention. Here is a list of five common dental problems.
Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent dental issues in Canada. More commonly known as cavities, tooth decay starts when plaque stays on teeth for too long. Although anyone can have cavities, children and older adults are at the most risk.
Found in the gum’s crevices, gingivitis is also known as early gum disease. Swelling, inflammation and bleeding gums are signs you should look out for. Immediate treatment is very important so that it does not develop into periodontal disease.
According to Colgate, periodontal disease is found in about 8 out of 10 adults. Periodontal diseases are infections of the structures around the teeth. These include the gums, the cementum that covers the root of a tooth, the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone. In the earliest stage of periodontal disease, the infection affects only the gums. In more severe forms of periodontal disease, it causes infections which attack the gum tissue and the tooth ligament.
More than 43,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancers this year, and more than 8,000 will die from it, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Your chance of getting oral cancer increases as you get older and is very often linked to smoking and heavy alcohol use. Recently, the number of cases has risen because doctors have discovered that the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can also cause oral cancer.
Are you noticing that food is getting stuck in new places in your mouth or that crowded teeth are now overlapping even more? While an unattractive smile is not technically a dental problem, it is a major reason why many patients seek dental treatment. According to Dr. Lee Graber, Past President of the American Orthodontics Association, as you age, your teeth shift. This can be problematic, not because you’ll look different, but because it can make your teeth more difficult to clean. When your teeth are difficult to clean, you are more likely to get tooth decay. It’s also of concern because misaligned teeth can lead to teeth erosion and damage to the supporting tissue and bone.
Regular dental visits accompanied with good oral hygiene means all of these diseases can be prevented. If you’re diligent with both your oral hygiene and dental visits you are likely to prevent one or more of these diseases.
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A version of this post was first published on Altima Dental Blog