Do you practice good oral hygiene? Sure, we’re all taught as children that we should brush twice daily and floss, but many of us don’t know how to react to the signs of poor oral health.
The CDC estimates that more than 80% of Americans have had at least one cavity by the time they turn 34. In 2015, 40% reported some type of pain in their mouth. Plus, emergency dental care costs US businesses approximately $45 billion in lost productivity every year. And yes, that’s a Billion.
On top of that, poor oral health is linked to a number of diseases outside of your mouth, including arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. In other words, having poor oral health risks more than just your smile.
The Signs of Poor Oral Health
Your mouth is teeming with bacteria—over 700 strains. Some of these are there by design and help digest our food, protect our gums, and perform other valuable functions. However, others aren’t nearly as helpful causing numerous problems.
Some of the signs of poor oral health include:
- Cavities – Probably the most common problem associated with poor oral health is tooth decay. Cavities are small holes that form in the teeth as a result of the decay. Not only are they painful, but they can also lead to days off from school or work and expensive, unnecessary dental care.
- Gum Disease – Another common problem, gum disease affects nearly half of US adults over the age of 30. Plaque build-up along the gum line can cause gingivitis, which is characterized by a swelling of the gums. If left untreated, this can lead to periodontitis, a far more serious condition that eats away at the gums as well as the bone which holds your teeth in place. This can lead to tooth loss.
- Sensitive Teeth—Covered with a hard layer, your teeth’s enamel protects it from damage as you sip, crunch, and chew. Unfortunately, enamel doesn’t grow back. If some of this enamel wears away, it leaves your teeth very sensitive to pain.
- Cracked or Chipped Teeth—An unfortunate accident (like a bump to the mouth) or a bad habit (like crunching ice) can do actual physical damage to your teeth. While the symptoms are very much like those of sensitive teeth, cracked or chipped teeth are particularly vulnerable to cavities and further damage if left untreated.
- Oral Cancer—Unexplained, persistent growths or bumps in the mouth may be a sign of oral cancer. This disease accounted for more than 50,000 cancer cases in 2019 and affects men twice as often as women. Heavy drinkers and tobacco users are exponentially more likely to develop oral cancer than other populations.
Other Diseases Linked with Poor Oral Health
Besides the illnesses listed above, other diseases link to the signs of poor oral health. These include:
- Heart disease
- Complications with Pregnancy
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Hepatitis C
How to Beat Poor Oral Health
If you’re worried about the signs of poor oral health in the North Dallas, TX area, Dentistry by Design can put your mind at ease. To learn more about how we can put a smile back on your face, call 972.231.3013.