Fluoride is one of the most important constituents of your toothpaste. Fluoride can repair tooth cavities and even take care of the early stages of tooth decay. This is why toothpaste companies always have fluoride in their toothpaste, no matter whether it contains anything else or not.
Here is a look at some of the common dental ailments and what they mean.
Abscess is a swollen area of accumulated pus, which is caused as a result of bacterial infection. This triggers the body’s defense mechanism, known as the immune system to send white blood cells (WBCs) to combat the infection. Abscess is formed when the pus fails to drain. The pus, a mixture of live and dead white blood cells, can destroy parts of destroyed cells and tissues.
Where does it form?
While an Abscess can be formed in any part of the body, in the mouth, it is usually observed in gum tissues or in the roots of the tooth. This happens when bacteria attack food particles embedded in the gum, which enters through a food cavity and results in the formation of a deep periodontal pocket.
In case the Abscess doesn’t rupture, it might tend to infect neighbouring areas such as the head and neck. This is when the condition might become life threatening. Abscess can be triggered by different factors including trauma when food debris becomes embedded in the gum or after the formation of a periodontal pocket. While the rupture of the abscess might mean that there is a significant decrease in pain, you will need to seek a dental treatment nonetheless. This is because in the absence of a dental treatment, the infection can spread to other areas quickly.
Symptoms and Prevention
The primary symptoms are persistent toothache. There is often a throbbing pain in the gums - the main symptom of abscess. Patients may also notice an increase in sensitivity to heat and chewing. You may also develop fever over a period of time. Swollen lymph nodes and pain in the sinus area are also symptoms of Abscess. If not treated properly, it can lead to rupture of the abscess.
Dental experts believe that good oral hygiene can prevent occurrences of abscess. Keeping the mouth free from food debris with the help of daily brushing can keep abscess at bay.
Sweet and sticky food particles that are attacked by the bacteria present in mouth are known to produce acids that affect the enamel.
Why does it form?
Several factors help in the formation of cavities.
- The saliva helps in the upkeep of our oral health, as this liquid keeps the mouth wet and even helps take away some of the food debris.
- Saliva also helps keep the acidity in the mouth low and can even help protect against bacteria and viruses.
- Lack of dental hygiene is often what contributes to the formation of plaques. Plaque can stick to your tooth and is hard to remove.
The plaque consists of everything from bacteria to viruses to yeasts that are ‘stuck together’ in a gel like manner. With time, the plaque can grow as bacteria will start multiplying. The formation of plaque is continuous, and can start as soon as the teeth are cleaned. If untreated for long and in dearth of good dental care, plaque can form into Calculus or tartar.
What can happen?
Any kind of food that contains carbohydrates break down to form glucose and sucrose. These sugars combine with bacteria to form acid. Every time you eat the bacteria in your mouth acts upon it to produce acid, which exposes you to tooth decay.
What happens if you take too much sugar?
If you intake too much of sugars, sucrose, in particular, more acids are produced as sugar reacts with bacteria to produce acid. It is this acid that decays teeth. Sugars are available in every product, not just the ice cream you eat. The regular staple diet you eat also contain simple sugars like glucose and fructose. While drinking more of your favourite soft drink will mean that you’re exposing your teeth to more sugars, your dinner can increase the sugar level in your mouth too.
This leads to the mineral crystals within your teeth to dissolve. When the enamel dissolves, the cavity starts to form. The more the number of times you eat, the more are your chances of you developing cavities as your teeth is exposed to increased acid attacks.
There are two things that can be done to prevent tooth decay – boost your defence mechanism by using fluoride-based toothpaste and reduce the bacteria in your mouth. Fluoride can help repair teeth by replacing the lost minerals while additional gels and mouth rinses combined with a good oral hygiene can do wonders too.
Alternatively, sealants can also be used as they would act as a protective coating over molars and premolars and prevent bacteria from sticking in tiny groves present between teeth. Flossing daily can help you contain bacteria and using mouthwashes with chlorhexidine can help control bacteria in the mouth too.
Bad breath, referred to as halitosis is the unpleasant odor present in the mouth. Depending on the reasons behind it, it can either be persistent or periodic. Bad breath can be caused due to the following reasons:
- Poor dental hygiene due to infrequent brushing that leads to particle decay.
- Gum diseases.
- Respiratory infection in the throat, lung or sinus.
- Consumption of garlic, onion, coffee, tobacco or cigarette smoking.
- Dry mouth, which can be a result of malfunctioning salivary glands.
- Diseases such as diabetes and issues in the kidney, lung and liver.
- Infections in the mouth like the formation or rupture of abscess and sore gums can lead to bad breadth too.
- Cigarette stains can lead to bad breadth as well as swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
- High amount of dental caries is another major cause
Bad odor is the result of growing bacteria in the mouth. The soft, moist and wet environment of the mouth makes it an ideal place for bacteria to grow in. It is important to remember that bad breadth in the morning is common and does not mean any major health concern. Bad breadth in the morning, or ‘morning mouth’, can be done away with brushing. The symptom happens because the saliva can wash away the decaying food from your mouth and leave out the dead cells. Bacteria thrive on these dead cells and emanate a foul odor.
Most often, the person does not know that he is suffering from bad breadth as self-diagnosis is difficult and you might get accustomed to the smell. You can notice bad breadth by noticing others when you’re talking to them – if you see that people recoil themselves as you speak, there’s probably a case of bad breadth.
If you're having bad breath because of certain dental problems, it can be sorted out by maintaining good oral hygiene.
Also called Bruxism, this affects about 30 to 40 million children and adults in the United States alone.
When does it happen?
While some people grind their teeth only during sleep (known as nocturnal Bruxism), others do so in the day time as well, often in situations that make them tense. People suffering from this condition, may damage their teeth or fracture dental filings. It’s been seen that there are rhythmic contractions of the jaw muscles and patients often disturb others sleeping nearby with a grinding sound at night. The other symptoms include morning headache and the feeling that the jaw muscles and right or painful. There is sometimes a chronic facial pain as well.
What causes it?
Bauxism has also been associated with several neurological disorders, including severe brain injuries.
Bauxism can also happen because of increased stress levels. You need to cut down on your intake of tobacco or caffeine. Some cases of Bauxism can be treated effectively through counseling. In addition, cutting down on consumption of tobacco and caffeine have also proven to be effective. On the other hand, damage caused by nocturnal tooth grinding can be averted by the use of night bite plate or a bite splint.
Teeth that are affected by the cracked teeth syndrome have fractures that aren't visible on X-Rays. This usually affects molars that take a major part of the chewing force. People that already suffer from the grinding tooth syndrome tend to develop cracked teeth over time.
When else does it happen?
Teeth that have undergone a root canal treatment earlier or those with large fillings are more prone to this compared to others. The most common symptom is experiencing pain whenever you bite or chew. The pain felt might be more when you’re eating certain foods or when you’re biting in a specific way. There is no constant ache, which can happen because of cavities or abscess, and there is increased tooth sensitivity. Cracked tooth symptoms are often difficult to diagnose.
If you grind your teeth, consult a dentist for a possible treatment as ignoring it would increase the chances of cracked tooth syndrome. This is because grinding can potentially increase the risk of a cracked tooth syndrome.