Oral issues and disease pose major health burdens including pain, discomfort, disfigurement, and even death. With billions of bacteria living inside our mouths at any given time, practicing daily proper oral hygiene is a critical, lifelong commitment.

Symptoms of Oral Issues and Disease

  • Bleeding or swollen gums after brushing or flossing
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Frequent dry mouth
  • Jaw clicking
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain or toothaches
  • Pain with chewing or biting
  • Receding gumline
  • Sudden sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Swelling of the face and cheeks
  • Ulcers, sores, or tender areas in the mouth that won’t heal after a week

Factors Contributing to Oral Issues

  • Acid reflux or heartburn
  • Certain infections such as HIV or AIDS
  • Diabetes
  • Family history or genetics
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Poor brushing habits
  • Smoking
  • Sugary food and drink consumption
  • Use of saliva reducing medications

Causes of Oral Disease

  • The oral cavity collects various bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Some of which belong there, making up the normal flora of the mouth.
  • Harmless in small quantities, but a diet high in sugar creates conditions in which acid-producing bacteria flourish. This acid dissolves tooth enamel and causes dental cavities.
  • Bacteria near the gumline thrive in a sticky matrix called plaque. Plaque accumulates, hardens, and migrates down the length of the tooth if not removed regularly by brushing and flossing.
  • Inflamed gums cause gingivitis.
  • Increased inflammation causes gums to begin pulling away from teeth.

Types of Oral Disease

  • Cavities
  • Dental Carries
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Gum disease (gingivitis)
  • Noma
  • Oral cancer
  • Oral manifestations of HIV
  • Oro-dental trauma
  • Periodontitis
  • Sensitive teeth

Diagnosing Oral Issues and Disease

Most oral issues and disease can be diagnosed during a dental exam. During an exam, dentists closely inspect:

  • Cheeks
  • Jaw
  • Mouth
  • Neck
  • Teeth
  • Throat
  • Tongue

If oral cancer is suspected, dentists may order imaging tests to determine if cancer has spread. Tests may include:

  • CT scan
  • Endoscopy
  • MRI scan
  • X-ray

Treating Oral Issues and Disease

Even with proper oral care, routine visits to the dentist with professional cleanings twice a year a recommended. Dentists recommend additional treatments if signs of gum disease, infections or other problems arise.

  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be in the form of a gel, mouth rinse, oral tablet or capsule.
  • Cleanings: Deep cleaning is also known as scaling and root planing. It removes tartar from above and below the gumline that can’t be reached during routine brushing.
  • Daily Habits: Dental hygienists provide education regarding how to properly care for teeth and gums.
  • Dental Implants: Used to replace missing or lost teeth.
  • Fluoride Treatments: Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can strengthen tooth enamel and increase resiliency to bacteria and acid.
  • Fillings, Crowns, and Sealants: A filling is used to repair a cavity, crack, or hole in the tooth. First dentists use a drill to remove the damaged area of the tooth and then fill the hole with material, such as amalgam or composite.
  • Probiotics: Mostly known for their role in digestive health, probiotics, and healthy bacteria may be beneficial for teeth and gums.
  • Root Canals: Required if tooth decay reaches inside the tooth nerve. During a root canal, the nerve is removed and replaced with a filling made of a biocompatible material, usually a combination of a rubber-like material called gutta-percha and adhesive cement.
  • Tooth Extraction: Necessary when a tooth cannot be saved with a root canal or other procedure.

Maintaining Oral Health

  • Avoid tobacco products.
  • Brush teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day.
  • Floss at least once a day. Flossing is one of the most beneficial things ways to prevent oral disease.
  • Follow a high-fiber, low-fat, low-sugar diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit sugary snacks and drinks.
  • Visit a dental professional every six months for a cleaning.

The Dentist's Role

Oral health has an effect on more than just the teeth. Poor oral and dental health can contribute to issues with self-esteem, speech, comfort, nutrition, and overall quality of life. Many oral issues develop without any symptoms. Regularly visiting a dentist for a checkup and exam is the best way to catch a problem before it worsens.

Dentists are doctors who specialize in oral health. Their responsibilities include:

  • Creating treatment plans to maintain or restore the oral health of their patients.
  • Diagnosing oral diseases.
  • Ensuring the safe administration of anesthetics.
  • Interpreting x-rays and diagnostic tests.
  • Monitoring growth and development of the teeth and jaws.
  • Performing surgical procedures on the teeth, bone, and soft tissues of the oral cavity.
  • Promoting oral health and disease prevention.

Ultimately, long-term outcomes depend on patient efforts. Cavities are not entirely preventable, but the risk of severe gum disease and tooth loss is reduced with proper oral care.

Trust the Oral Experts at iSmile Coral Gables and Doral, FL

Dr. Sonia Olivares and her iSmile team provide comprehensive dental services from routine check-ups to urgent care, offering convenient and affordable options to patients in Coral Gables, Coral Springs, St. Doral Florida, and the surrounding areas.

If you need dental assistance or an annual general dentistry check-up – call iSmile Coral Gables and iSmile Doral. To make an appointment, contact our office today!

  • iSmile Coral Gables: 305-396-1026
  • iSmile Coral Gables: 305-396-1026

For online consultations, visit https://www.drsoniaolivares.net/online-consultation/.

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For additional information, visit our website at https://www.drsoniaolivares.net/.