Not every disease attacks like a shark. Some are more like the puma, sneaking up on you slowly and then pouncing when you least expect it, affecting your body in ways you never imagined.
This is an accurate description of many dental issues. They start small, perhaps with sore gums or a dry mouth, and before you know it, you and your dentist are discussing options such as tooth loss or the reconstruction of your jaw. Taking care of your mouth is crucial so you should find out as much as possible about some of the lesser-known oral diseases and how to prevent them.
Uncommon Oral Diseases
Everyone wants a healthy mouth. When you have clean, even teeth you are more likely to smile often and display an air of confidence. You also are better able to enjoy your meals, speak clearly, and maybe even attract a kiss or two.
However, even when your mouth looks good, there could be disease lurking just below the surface. Therefore, it is important to know about all kinds of oral diseases, as well as their warning signs.
Most people have heard of cavities and you may have even had one or two as a child. One of the lesser-known mouth issues similar to cavities is periodontal disease. This occurs when bacteria starts to eat away at the gums and the underlying bone, causing teeth to become unstable.
Studies have shown that this gum disease can actually spread to affect parts of your body other than your mouth. A variety of ailments, from hypertension to pregnancy issues, can be traced to periodontal disease.
You can also get cancers of the mouth and throat called oral and pharyngeal cancer. These types of diseases claim thousands of lives every year.
Thrush is another type of oral disease. It is marked by white spots on the inside of your mouth and is caused by a kind of yeast infection. Other oral diseases may create comparable patches in the mouth, such as Leukoplakia, an illness that comes from too much cell growth and can be seen on your gums, tongue, or cheek.
An autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s syndrome can also affect your mouth. It is triggered by a malfunction of the immune system in which your body begins to attack its own glands, and is identifiable by extreme dryness in areas of your body that are accustomed to wetness, such as your skin, mouth, and nose. This ailment is most common among those who already have an autoimmune disorder, like rheumatoid arthritis.
There is also an ailment called oral candidiasis, caused by a fungus. Those who have it may notice red or white lacerations in their mouth, an unpleasant taste, or extreme tenderness and sensitivity of the mouth. This condition occurs when the chemical balance of the inside of your mouth changes, most often through the use of antibiotics or other medications and cancer treatments.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember about many oral diseases is that keeping your mouth healthy may help to prevent them altogether. For those that cannot be avoided, regular checkups might allow your dentist to detect and diagnose potential problems earlier, leading to better management and treatment of these diseases. It is also important to stay away from substances proven to damage the mouth, such as tobacco and too much sugar or alcohol.
Parts of the Human Mouth and What They Do
Your mouth is one of the most important parts of your body. With it, you take in nourishment to live and communicate.
The tongue is a big part of all this. It lets you speak and taste, and also helps to push food along the mouth and down your throat. Throughout the inside of your mouth are salivary glands, which produce saliva to break down the food.
Lips are crucial as they are connected to the gums and help to form your facial expressions. Your mouth also contains the hardest substance in the entire body, your teeth, which provide a way to grind away at food particles so they can be digested. Of course, there is the jawbone, which holds all this together.
Tips on Taking Care of Your Mouth
As it turns out, daily brushing and flossing are your most critical tools for maintaining a healthy mouth. We all know this, but we don’t always do it as often or correctly as we should.
It is vital to brush your teeth and floss twice a day. Brushing your teeth should last as long as it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song twice and flossing should be done with care.
You should also make sure you choose the right toothbrush for you and replace it as directed, about every few months. In addition, it is imperative to visit a dentist regularly or whenever you notice warning signs such as bleeding gums, pain, or unexpected tooth loss.