Diseases of the Oral Cavity
Oral disease is any disorder that affects the health of the mouth. It can be uncomfortable and affect a person’s ability to eat, smile, and speak. Did you know that your oral health has an effect on your overall health? Research shows that bad oral health can increase your chances of acquiring heart disease, stroke, and even diabetes.
It’s important to see your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. During your cleaning, we will remove plaque and tartar buildup, which removes harmful bacteria. We will also provide you with a fluoride treatment to strengthen your teeth.
Here are the most common oral diseases:
Tooth decay, or cavities, is one of the most prevalent oral diseases. In fact, 90% of adults are affected by some form of dental decay. But don’t let these statistics scare you because tooth decay is preventable.
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that collect in the mouth, converting sugar and starch into acids, which eat away at the enamel of the tooth. Tooth decay can be especially prevalent in children, as they are often more drawn to foods and drinks that are high in sugar.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue caused by bacteria. If you have gingivitis, you may notice that your gums are red, swollen, or bleeding. You may also notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. It can usually be treated by a dental professional with thorough teeth cleaning.
Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is caused by bacteria that build up due to inadequate oral hygiene. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is a serious disease that affects the health of your entire body.
Gum disease is preventable and treatable with professional dental cleanings, proper brushing, flossing, and oral rinses that help control bacteria.
Oral cancer is a very serious disease, but it is also highly preventable. With regular dental checkups, you can greatly reduce your chances of developing oral cancer. During your checkup, your dentist will check for any abnormalities or lesions in your mouth. If anything is detected, your dentist will likely recommend a biopsy to determine if it is cancerous.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a disorder of the jaw that can result in headaches, pain, and difficulty biting or chewing. TMD is caused by trauma, bruxism, and arthritis.
TMD can lead to severe discomfort. Treating TMD can include medication, a mouth guard, physical therapy, or surgery.
Malocclusion, or “bad bite,” is a misalignment or incorrect bite relationship between the top and bottom teeth. Malocclusion can be inherited, but it is often caused by poor dental habits, such as thumb sucking or prolonged bottle feeding.
Orthodontic treatment is the most common treatment option for malocclusion. Braces are commonly used to treat orthodontic issues, including crowding, spacing, overbites, underbites, crossbites, and jaw misalignment. Traditional braces are metal braces that are glued to the teeth, and the wearer must attend frequent appointments for adjustments.
Invisalign, on the other hand, consists of clear aligners that are removable. The aligners are replaced every two to three weeks and are completely removable for eating and brushing.
To learn more about oral diseases, call us at (806) 374-8011 or schedule an appointment with our experienced dentist at our office at 3503 S Soncy Rd, Amarillo, TX 79119.