Dental hygiene is important, not only for your mouth and teeth, but for you to feel good as a whole. The presence of oral diseases in one’s body has been linked to an increased risk for other diseases, such as heart attacks, strokes, bacterial pneumonia, low birth weight for expectant mothers, diabetes and osteoporosis. Therefore, developing and maintaining good habits when it comes to your dental hygiene is important for your entire body. A dentist can teach you about these diseases and let you know if you have a heightened risk for any of them.
The Most Common Dental Conditions
The most common oral diseases are gingivitis, which can lead to periodontitis, abscesses and dental caries, also known as cavities. Gingivitis is a milder version of periodontitis, which is a gum disease. It often involves swollen, bloody gums that are painful when touched. If the disease progresses to periodontitis, it involves an infection of the gums and bone loss. Dental caries are bacterial infections that cause decay of the actual tooth. These start out as white spots on your teeth that later turn brown and grow in size. Cavities can be treated if detected early enough, but if not, they may require a tooth extraction. Other conditions include bad breath and dry mouth, which cause discomfort, or, in more severe cases, oral cancer. Most of these conditions can be prevented by brushing your teeth and flossing properly and by visiting your dentist on a regular basis.
The Importance of Good Dental Hygiene: When You Don’t Take Care of Your Teeth
Many dental diseases, when left untreated, can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Once you develop an oral condition, it is much more complicated and expensive to treat than if you had prevented it through proper cleaning of your mouth. If a dental disease is ignored, it can lead to tooth loss, making it difficult and embarrassing to speak, eat and smile. So it is important to brush your teeth regularly to remove plaque that builds up on your teeth and under your gums, and you must floss to remove plaque that is trapped between your teeth. Certain mouth rinses have also been proven effective in targeting plaque build-up. Your dentist can recommend a cleaning routine to fit your particular lifestyle, which can be affected by such habits like smoking or drinking caffeinated beverages.
How Your Dentist Can Help
Your dentist can give you a full oral exam to determine the state of your teeth and gums. It is of no use lying to your dentist about your dental cleaning habits, since he or she will instantly know whether you floss regularly or not. A visit to your dentist will probably include a professional cleaning, x-rays of your teeth and an examination of your gums, mouth, teeth, tongue and throat. A dentist can also teach you proper techniques to ensure that you floss and brush your teeth properly, and, if he or she notices a particular problem, he or she can tell you which parts of your mouth you should give more attention.