Dental Health and You

Good oral health means you have healthy teeth & gums. If you want to avoid cavities and bad breath then daily ritual of brushing your teeth as well as flossing is necessary. Needles to say, it is always advisable to see your dentist to evaluate whether you need any dental care.
 
Most common problems of Oral Health are:
 
1)   Bad breath
2)   Tooth decays / cavities
3)   Gum disease
4)   Stained / discolored teeth
5)   Dry mouth
 
1) Bad Breath: Bad breath (Halitosis) is when breath has an unpleasant odor. It is more of a social problem than a dental health problem.

Sulfur compounds in breath give rise to chronic halitosis. Sulfur compounds are responsible for foul odor of breath.
 
Major factors which contribute to bad breath are:

Food: Some food items contain volatile sulfur compounds e.g. onions or some spices or garlic etc. This results in bad breath which is temporary. Digested sulfur compounds enter blood stream and come out of lungs during exhaling, releasing unpleasant odor.
Dental problems: Any injury or abscess at tooth base can be the source of bad breath due to hydrogen sulfur vapors emitted by bacterias.
Poor dental hygiene: Decaying food particles trapped between teeth give rise to foul odor. Good brushing & flossing can get rid of this problem,
Smoking: Gives rise to unpleasant mouth odor due to dry mouth.
Dry Mouth : Saliva keeps mouth clean and moist.Dead cells accumulate on gums and teeth if you suffer from dry mouth.Decomposed cells give rise to bad odor.Bad morning breath due to short sleep is also one of the causes of dry mouth.

 2) Tooth Decay: Common dental problem is Tooth Decay or Cavities. Reason for this problem is the loss of minerals from the tooth enamel. Acids produced by dental plaque attack this tooth enamel.
 
Tooth decay can be avoided if you reduce consumption of sweet snacks & acidic fizzy drinks. Brush your teeth twice a day and after meals. Use toothpaste which contains fluoride.

Cavities are developed in between teeth or at gum root. If tooth is not treated, destruction travels from tooth enamel to intermediate dentin to inner most soft pulp. Nutrition, oral hygiene, or hereditory factors also are responsible for tooth decay.
 
3) Gum disease(Gingivitis or periodontal disease): starts as an inflammation of the gums that if left untreated can affect and gradually destroy the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth.

Periodontal diseases are infections of the periodontal tissues, which include the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone.

Gingivitis and periodontitis are the two main stages of gum disease.

Without proper treatment of gum disease, the teeth will finally become loose, fall out or have to be removed by a dentist.
 
4)Stained Teeth: One of the most common problems is stained teeth. People have some discomfort while they talk or smile due to this problem. Treatment for this is teeth whitening which is easily available.

Tooth discoloration may be classified into three main categories:

Discoloration of Extrinsic tooth– some foods or due to smoking tooth enamel
(External layer) is stained. These external stains are removed through the use of non-bleaching whitening products such as whitening toothpastes. These toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients which remove surface stains.

Discoloration of Intrinsic tooth– In this case inner structure of the tooth turns yellow in color. Normally whitening products are used which can bleach and change natural
Tooth color.

Discoloration due to age — Yellowing teeth is a common symptom of aging. Their mineral structure becomes less porous and makes teeth to appear darker. Underlying layer of yellowish dentin is seen through the enamel which becomes thin due to age.
 
5) Dry Mouth : In this, mouth becomes dry for want of saliva. Saliva secreting from salivary glands, keeps mouth wet. Anxiety or nervous state produces dry mouth temporarily.
 
Dry mouth condition is normally seen in elderly people.

By: Pradeep Mahajan

Pradeep Mahajan — Author is a free-lance writer. He is an engineer-MBA and management consultant by profession & practice. Visit http://www.health-fitness-wellness.com for more useful & interesting information on health, fitness & wellness.