Dental diseases are one of the most common non-communicable diseases. Though they are rarely life-threatening, they do impact the quality of life. Dental problems can cause severe pain, loss of man days and morbidity. Thus they are an important health concern and it is vital that people seek awareness about the issue. Here are signs and symptoms that may present itself to a patient that can alert him/her of the possibility of an underlying dental/systemic problem which can motivate them to seek professional help sooner than laterDr.Rajkrishnan
Some common diseases
Gum disease/periodontitis: Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place (gums and underlying bone). It’s typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow plaque- a sticky film of bacteria- to build up on the teeth and harden. In advanced stages, periodontal disease can lead to sore, bleeding gums, painful chewing problems, and eventual tooth loss.
Gingivitis (gum inflammation) usually precedes periodontitis (gum infection). However, not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis. In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place.
When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis where gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces between (called “pockets”) that become infected.
What causes gum disease?
The main cause of periodontal (gum) disease is plaque, but other factors affect the health of your gums are:
Signs and symptoms of gum disease
The main goal of treatment is to control infection. The type of treatment will vary from deep cleanings to surgical treatments, depending on the extent of the gum disease. Any type of treatment requires that the patient keep up good daily care at home. The doctor may also suggest change in any medication and change certain behaviour such as quitting smoking, as a way to improve treatment outcome.
Tooth decay is the damage that occurs when the bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar from food you eat and make acids that eat away at a tooth. It can lead to a hole in the tooth, called a cavity. If not treated, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and eventual tooth loss.
Things that make you more likely to have tooth decay
Children, whose teeth are still growing, are more likely than adults to have tooth decay. This is because the minerals in new teeth are not very strong and are easier for acids to eat away. Even babies can be at the risk of tooth decay. Babies who are put to bed with a bottle can get “Nursing bottle caries” —tooth decay caused by the sugar in milk or juice.
What are the symptoms?
Tooth decay usually doesn’t cause symptoms until you have a cavity/infected tooth. When this happens, you may have:
If you have toothache, see a dentist. Sometimes, the pain will go away for a while, but the tooth decay will keep growing. If you don’t get treatment, your cavities could get worse and your tooth could die.
How is it treated?
The best treatment for tooth decay depends on how severe it is. If tooth decay is caught early, before a cavity forms, you may be able to stop it by brushing with fluoride toothpaste or getting fluoride treatments. That’s one good reason to see your dentist on a regular basis.
If the decay has eaten through the enamel, you may need one or more of these treatments:
A filling if a cavity has formed
A root canal treatment if the pulp of your tooth is infected. A root canal treatment removes the diseased pulp of a tooth.
Removal (extraction) if the root of the tooth is severely damaged. The dentist may replace the tooth with a bridge or an implant.
Most commonly affecting the mouth, lips, tongue, or throat, this disease ranks among the top three types of cancers in India.
Signs and Symptoms
Oral cancer can be difficult to identify for a lay person. Regular dental visits are important factor in the early detection and treatment of cancer. Nevertheless, people should be aware of the following signs and symptoms and should visit a doctor or dentist immediately if they notice.
The risk factors for mouth cancer
Many people will not receive any oral healthcare except that received from a physician, and new research suggests that tooth and periodontal diseases may have important systemic consequences. Therefore, physicians have an important role in the management of these conditions by identifying dental and oral disease, encouraging proper dental hygiene, counseling on the effects of tobacco and alcohol, and initiating referrals to dental professionals as needed.
In conclusion, it is very important to go for regular dental visits in order to keep your teeth and gums in good shape and disease free. A biannual check-up is the best thing you can do for your oral health. There is a strong relationship between your oral health and your overall health. So taking good care of your mouth is a big part of taking care of your whole body.
Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders, commonly called “TMJ”, are a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Since more studies are needed on the safety and effectiveness of most treatments for jaw joint and muscle disorders, experts strongly recommend using the most conservative, reversible treatments possible.
These are the steps you can take that may be helpful in easing symptoms
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