Cavities, or tooth decay, is a preventable disease. While tooth decay might not endanger your life, it may negatively impact your quality of life.
When your teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids may form that begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bind with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth and form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the structure of teeth, with tooth decay resulting.
Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Just breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth.
Gum, or periodontal disease, can cause inflammation, tooth loss, and bone damage. Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. In the early stage of the disease, gums can bleed easily and become red and swollen, As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may become mobile or need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing. One indicator of the disease is consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Daily brushing and flossing help to prevent the build-up of food particles, plaque, and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods, such as garlic or anchovies may create temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem.
Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores insides the mouth that often reoccur. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of a canker sore can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents. The canker sore has a white or gray base surrounded by a red border.
A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types may be acquired. Some causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over and an extended period of time may cause malocclusions.