Written by Danica Lacson on September 29, 2018
What are Teeth Diseases?
Teeth diseases are diseases which affect the teeth and other parts of the oral cavity and result to pain and discomfort. Often, they are caused by poor oral hygiene or injuries.
What are the common Teeth Diseases?
Teeth diseases are usually categorized into three primary groups:
- Diseases of the teeth
- Diseases of the gums
- Oral cancers
Diseases of the Teeth
This category of teeth diseases involves the teeth and usually brought about by the formation of cavities. Cavities are areas in the teeth which are damaged due to decay as a result of the gradual wear of the enamel and its progression toward the interior. It takes place when plaque, which produces acid, is allowed to linger on the tooth’s surface for a long period of time.
When the tooth becomes infected with cavities, it can result to toothache, tooth sensitivity, and staining on the tooth's surface. Moreover, it becomes susceptible to infections.
Fortunately, cavities are preventable and treatable. To prevent cavities from infecting and damaging the teeth, it is essential to practice proper oral hygiene including brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. Visiting your dentist at least twice a year is also vital in detecting early signs of cavity and providing immediate treatment to the disease.
Other teeth problems which can be experienced include tooth sensitivity, tooth discoloration, cracked or chipped tooth, among others. The good news is that most of these dental problems are preventable with proper oral hygiene.
Additionally, individuals can also suffer from crooked teeth or malocclusion which can be treated through orthodontic treatments. It is imperative that this condition be treated as it can cause complications that may lead to worst dental problems.
Diseases of the Gums
This second group of teeth diseases affects the mucosal tissue lying over the mandible or the lower jawbone and the maxilla or the upper jawbone which is also known as the gums.
Diseases involving the gums are usually result of infections which begin as gingivitis or the mild form of periodontal disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis or the severe form of gum disease.
As with cavities and tooth decay, gingivitis is caused by bacteria in plaque which infect the gums through the production of acid. Indications of gingivitis consist of puffy and swollen gums, persistent foul-smelling breath, and bleeding when flossing or brushing. The good news is that gingivitis is deemed as a reversible condition which can be treated with professional care, as well as, proper oral hygiene.
Meanwhile, periodontitis may impair the support system such as the bone which backs up the teeth in place and may also erode the gum line that surrounds the teeth. As time passes by, periodontitis may even lead to tooth loss. Unlike gingivitis, the damage caused by periodontitis is irreversible and permanent.
Another group of teeth diseases is oral cancer which may affect any part of the mouth and throat such as the cheeks, lips, gums, tongue, and the larynx.
Occurrence of oral cancers is usually indicated by:
- soreness that does not heal over a long period of time
- sore throat
- thickening in the neck
- white or red patches in the mouth
- lump in the mouth
It is advisable to consult a healthcare professional at once if any of the mentioned symptoms are encountered for the last couple of weeks. Additionally, everyone has the tendency to develop oral cancer with increased risk for those who smoke, drink too much alcohol, among others.
Because the likelihood of developing oral cancer is present, it is best to ensure that the body is in its best condition through proper diet, exercise, healthy habits, and consultation with health care professionals for early detection of any disease and immediate treatment, if necessary.
Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.