Diseases that Affect the MouthOral health is of the utmost importance as it provides an insight intointernal health and has the potential to reflect a beautiful smile. Oralhygiene is the key to successful oral health, but many fail to note theimportance of brushing and flossing on a regular basis. Seriousconditions and diseases are on the increase as a result of poor oralhealth among children and adults alike. Examples of oral healthdiseases include: gum disease, tooth decay and oral cancer.Tooth DecayTooth decay is one of the most common and preventable dental ailments, affecting people of allages. It is the bacteria found within the mouth that causes decay and results in the following:● When eating, the bacterium starts to feed on the food particles, which cause them toproduce harmful plaque acids.● These acids attack the protective enamel covering of the teeth and leave the rest of thetooth susceptible to damage.● Symptoms of tooth decay include: pain, toothache and discoloured spots on the teeth.If tooth decay is left untreated, bacterial infection can spread to other parts of the mouth and thiscan lead to painful abscesses (Tonsilloliths) and gum disease.Gum DiseaseGum disease is extremely common and most experience symptoms atsome point in their lives. There are two stages of gum disease including:gingivitis and periodontal disease.Gingivitis is apparent at the early stage, when symptoms are mild. Ifgingivitis is left untreated, it can develop into periodontal disease, which ismuch more serious and difficult to treat.Symptoms of gum disease include:● Bleeding gums (especially after brushing)● Sore, tender gums● Redness in the gums● Bad breathIf gum disease is left untreated, pockets will eventually form between the teeth and the gums.Unfortunately at this stage the teeth will start to come loose.Gingivitis is usually easily treatable, but severe gum disease is somewhat difficult and lengthy.Ensure you visit your dentist if you are displaying any of the symptoms.Oral CancerOral cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer, but kills more people than cervical and testicularcancer combined. The number of cases is increasing year after year. Dentists are able to spotthe early warning signs of oral cancer, so regular check-ups ensure that any symptoms are
detected early and the disease can be treated as soon as possible. Symptoms to note include:● Swellings in the mouth or throat● Red or white patches in the mouth● Sores (ulcers) that take a long time to healPreventing Oral DiseasesSimply spending a few minutes each day taking care of yourteeth and gums can help to keep oral diseases at bay.Brushing twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time, flossingon a regular basis and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash willhelp keep your mouth fresh and clean and your teeth strongand healthy. You should also visit your dentist every six totwelve months for a check-up.Diet plays an important role in the maintenance of oral health.Avoid eating sugary, acidic foods and drinks and cut down onsnacking, especially if you are partial to sweet snacks inbetween meals. When consuming sugary foods, the plaqueacids made by bacteria in your mouth attack the teeth. Yourmouth can only withstand a certain number of attacks during the day. Try to drink water or milkand if you do fancy a sweet treat, eat it straight after your meal.