Did you know that your oral health and overall wellness are closely connected? Many dental problems can affect your health. Tooth decay isn’t the only thing that can damage your smile. Here are 4 common oral health conditions and what you can do to prevent them.
1. Tooth Decay
Your enamel is the hardest substance in your body, but it isn’t indestructible. Every day, it is attacked by cavity-causing bacteria that can erode your enamel. Despite being preventable, 92% of adults have experienced at least one cavity.
Although cavities are common, you can protect your pearly whites from decay by practicing good oral hygiene habits and visiting your dentist regularly. Besides brushing and flossing, limit sugary foods and drinks for a cavity-free smile.
2. Gum Disease
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 50% of adults have gum disease. Bacteria in plaque and tartar buildup can cause an infection that results in red, swollen, and bleeding gums. With no treatment, it will destroy the supporting structures of your teeth, ultimately leading to tooth loss. The bacteria can also enter your bloodstream, increasing your risk of various health problems, like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetic complications.
Flossing is the best way to keep your gums healthy. Your toothbrush can’t reach everywhere in your mouth. Brushing alone can leave up to 40% of your teeth surfaces uncleaned. Flossing removes the buildup missed by your toothbrush. The American Dental Association recommends using high-quality floss to clean between each tooth daily.
3. Bad Breath
60 million Americans suffer from chronic bad breath. It’s often caused by too much oral bacteria or an untreated dental problem, like a cavity. A dry mouth can also lead to unpleasant odors because it creates a perfect environment for oral bacteria growth.
You can combat bad breath by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing every night. Visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and your mouth moist.
4. Oral Cancer
54,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer annually. Sadly, 9,700 people die every year from it because it’s often undiagnosed until it reaches advanced stages. Contrary to what you might have heard, you don’t have to smoke to be at risk.
Your dentist can perform an oral cancer screening during each routine appointment. Healthcare professionals report that 80% of new oral cancer cases can be detected early through routine dental care.
You can ensure your teeth last for a lifetime by giving your smile the attention it deserves. You will look and feel your best knowing your mouth and body are healthy.
About Dr. Edward J. Dooley
Dr. Dooley achieved his dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and has regularly continued his education to provide up-to-date services, like dental implants and clear aligners. He is affiliated with many professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Request an appointment through his website or call (732) 820-5493.