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Dental care; Most common Dental Problems and Solutions

We are living in days when there is more knowledge about dental ailments than ever before. We also have more effective methods of preventing or dealing with these problems. This does not mean that dental ailments are any less a cause for concern than they used to be. In fact we only have some of these problems because of our use of certain foods and items that have come as a result of civilization and development. The cravings for sugar and foods that are detrimental to oral hygiene is common now than ever. And why not? They come in very tempting forms. Candies, chocolate bars, sweets, cigarette and other such substances. Sadly, though the production and use of these things is accompanied by more effective tools for dental care, dental ailments are still a major cause for concern. As we look into different dental ailments, their causes and remedies, one thing is important to remember and will frequently be brought to mind; most of these dental ailments can be prevented by simply paying attention to better oral hygiene.

Bad Breath

Bad breath, medically known as halitosis is one of those diseases that affect more people than you could imagine. Amongst the most common dental problems is this issue of an unpleasant mouth odor. It could be very embarrassing to realize that the odor that accompanies your breath is unpleasant enough to make you and especially those around you feel uncomfortable. Many people who suffer from it are generally unable to relate with people normally. It could keep friends and even family members at a distance, leaving you lonely. If you suffer from this problem, you will definitely be willing to give up just about anything for it to go away. However, the first step to dealing with the problem is knowing what causes it. So let’s begin by figuring out the different possible causes of halitosis before heading on to the solutions for it.

Dry mouth

One of the most common causes of halitosis is dry mouth. Naturally, saliva cleans the mouth and helps to keep away bad breath. When the mouth is left dry over extended periods of time, there is an increased accumulation of bacteria and this can cause bad breath. Dryness of the mouth could be from natural causes or due to certain diseases that make it vulnerable to bacteria prevalence.

Smoking

Those who smoke especially tobacco frequently have bad breath which is unique to them. But aside from the normal mouth odor associated with smoking, such substances as tobacco have a tendency to cause gum diseases or mouth sores that could lead to mouth odor. It is important to know that tobacco and other substances that people smoke are usually associated with common dental problems like this. And it is difficult to fight off these diseases even when you brush your teeth effectively if you are a chronic smoker.

Food

Certain food types like onions and garlic are known to cause unpleasant odor in the mouth especially for those who do not brush properly after eating them. From the mouth where such food types are first broken down for digestion, particles could be left. When this happens and they go for some time without being flossed or cleaned, they leave an unpleasant smell in the mouth. People who habitually eat such foods and do not maintain good oral hygiene may begin to suffer from halitosis sooner or later.

Poor dental hygiene

The most probable cause of halitosis is poor dental hygiene. A majority of those who suffer from mouth odor do not take dental hygiene as serious as they should. If you do not brush your teeth as often as you should, do not use recommended toothbrush or paste or fail to take care of your tooth brush, you are more likely to be infected. There are a number of things related to dental hygiene which will be considered in the next part.

Wrong diets

Some diets encourage or aggravate mouth odor. Low carbohydrate diets have a way of triggering the breakdown of fats which in turn triggers the production of ketones. They have a strong odor and could give the mouth an unpleasant smell. The same thing may happen when one fast often.

The use of certain drugs or medications

Some medications are known to stall the release of saliva and consequently this leads to accumulation of bacteria and causes bad breath. But other drugs cause bad breath as they are broken down to get into the system and begin functioning. Bad breath could also result from taking a large number of drugs all too frequently. You should brush your teeth more frequently when using such medications.

Symptoms

The main symptom of bad breathe is the unpleasant odor that persists in the mouth of someone. You could perceive an unusual odor from your mouth after eating something like garlic or some other foods. But this would not mean you are suffering from bad breath. Generally, people who know what bad breath is could become anxious about it even when they do not really have the problem. It could be difficult to rightly judge for yourself weather or not you have bad breath so you can ask another person to help in the assessment.

Remedies

There are a number of ways to fight bad breathe and while you may not have as quick a result as you will expect, these tips will definitely help you deal with the problem. Also remember that not all the following remedies would be applicable for you. The best way to deal with bad breath is to first determine what causes it in your case. However, the following tips will help.

- Make it a habit to drink a good amount of water and frequently rinse your mouth as you do so. This will go a long way to stall bacteria activity and bacteria multiplication, thus minimizing the problem until it finally goes away totally.

- Be sure to brush your teeth after every meal and if possible,floss and use mouth wash or mint gums often.

- Dentists recommend replacement of toothbrush after every two months. But if you already have a problem with mouth odor, you may want to take a more radical approach to this recommendation, changing your toothbrush after a month.

- You sure want to make sure there is no bacteria buildup and that you are actually making progress in dealing with the disease. One of the best ways to do these is visiting a dentist for checkup as often as you can.

- Though this is not known to most people, the tongue is about the most dirt attracting part of the mouth. This means that the tongue requires more care than most of us realize. Spend some time to consciously brush your tongue during your brush sessions.

- As we have already mentioned, inadequate saliva in the mouth facilitates halitosis. So those with dry mouth would need to salivate more often. How to do that? By chewing some orange or lemon rind, of course after thoroughly washing them. They are known for stimulating the salivary glands, giving your mouth a more frequent supply of its formidable cleansing substance.

- Rightly brushing teeth. Spending a considerable length of time brushing is no guarantee that you are doing it the right way. Because food particles are more likely to get stuck between the teeth, it is important to use the up and down brush motions more often rather than the side to side motions. Also take some time to brush the top part of your tooth covered with enamel. They are also good breathing spots for bacteria.

Tooth Ache

Toothache is one dental problem you would not want to experience. Most times they are accompanied with chronic tooth pain and very distressful. Not as many people experience tooth ache as those who experience gum problems. But you can be sure that for those who do, it is a big problem. Not one without a solution though. Like most other common dental problems, you will have to determine the actual cause of it in order to effectively deal with the problem. So lets look into some of the causes of toothache.

Tooth decay, when left unattended will definitely result to chronic tooth pain. Tooth decay on its part is caused by bacteria that produces acid from food particles of especially sweets, milk, soda and other types of carbohydrates that are left on the tooth for some time. This acid then combines with saliva and food particles to destroy the enamel which protects the pulp of your teeth. This means holes will be formed in the tooth which are then called cavities, and of course a more serious problem. These issues left unattended to definitely cause severe pain as the hole in the tooth gets deeper. Tooth decay and cavities are known to be typical of children, but make no mistakes, grownups can be victims as well.

Abscessed tooth

With inadequate dental care, it could happen that pus builds up around an already infected tooth. This is of course an abscess and as you should know already know, they are accompanied by chronic tooth pain, especially when they appear in sensitive places like the moth. This is one of the most common causes of toothache.

Grinding teeth or frequent chewing could also cause irritations to the root of a tooth, causing tooth ache.

An infected gum too could give way, withdrawing from the root of a tooth, exposing it to infections which them cause chronic tooth pain.

When your tooth begins to ache, it may not be severe. But if it last more than two days or becomes increasingly painful, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible. It may also cause a fever or affect your ears and jaws. You may also realize that opening your mouth wide becomes painful.

The dentist will have to first carry out an examination to determine the root cause of your toothache before using any particular method of cure. Consequently, dealing with the cause of toothache will cause the pains to cease. Sometimes, so much damage is done to the tooth involved that it just has to be taken out completely. Antibiotics will also usually be recommended. Generally, and like other dental problems, you will have to practice better dental care and hygiene.

Tonsillitis

Tonsils are tissues that trap bacteria or germs that have the potential of blocking getting into the airways from within the mouth to cause infections. They are located at the back of the mouth and strategic to fighting infections by producing antibodies effective in fighting off infections causes by bacteria and viruses. However, because of improper dental hygiene or other sicknesses that weaken the immune system, the tonsils themselves could become infected by the very bacteria they are supposed to fight off. They are one of the most common dental problem especially in children but could occur in adults too, either frequently or occasionally. There are two main causes of tonsillitis which are bacteria and viruses. Some of the viruses responsible for this disease are Herpes simplex virus, influenza virus, Epstein-Barr virus or Parainfluenza viruses. However the main bacteria related to this disease is the streptococcus.

Symptoms

Though swelling of the tonsils is the main symptom of the disease, others include loss of appetite, headache, ear pain, fever and chills, loss of appetite or painful blisters or ulcers on the throat. Nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain are more frequent symptoms in children.

Treatment

Since there are basically two causes of this disease, bacteria and viral infections, your doctor will have to determine which it is before recommending medication. In order to know whether the problem is caused by bacterial or viruses, a rapid strep test will be used. This entails using some cotton to swab against the tonsils and then examining the cotton in the lab to detect bacterial infection. Usually, a viral infection would not be detected this way but seems it is the only other probable alternative, it could safely be inferred that a virus is the cause of tonsillitis when the bacteria test comes negative. An alternative to this test is physical observation from which the cause could be determined.

For a situation caused by bacteria, you will be given antibiotics which should be taken full dose. Don’t fall into the trap of stopping the medication simply because you feel better. Medication should be taken full dose (unless it is given in a single shot) in order to ensure that the bacteria is completely dealt with.

When tonsillitis is caused by a viral infection, taking antibiotics will not help. You may have to take some painkillers to relieve the pains but the disease itself will have to go away naturally, fought off by your system. However, there are a few things you can do to quicken the healing process;

Getting enough sleep or rest, it is a great way to strengthen or multiply your white blood cells and heal faster.

Replace cold water and drinks with warm water. Its an effective way to reduce the pain and discomfort. You could also try gaggling warm salted water.

Take some painkillers to make things more bearable.

Sometimes, the situation could be so bad that tonsils may have to be removed. It is good to remember how important they are to one’s immune system before removing them. The process of removing them is called tonsillectomy and should only be done if tonsillitis is too frequent, causes difficulties in breathing or eating and cannot easily be dealt with. There may be some pain with intensity variations from one child to the next. The pain which accompanies tonsillectomy could cause ear, nexk or jaw pain for which the person involved will be prescribed medication. As the child or person on whom this procedure is done begins to recover, there will be need for more rest and healthy eating to foster the recovery process.

A related problem to tonsils is Tonsilloliths. They are more commonly known as tonsil stones. Like kidney stones, they are formed when bacteria and other unwanted substances accumulate in the tonsils and are calcified. It is a problem most common amongst people who frequently suffer from tonsillitis or a chronic inflammation of the organ. The size of tonsilloliths vary, but it is rare to see someone with a larger than normal swelling. It is also quite rare for tonsil stones to cause any noticeable changes but the following symptoms are associated with the disease.

Bad breath is usually associated with this disease. As a matter of fact, in one study, researchers found that about 75% of those who have bad breath issues also have tonsil stones.

Another symptom is sore throat. The funny unpleasant feeling you get in your throat could sometimes be significant of the presence of tonsilloliths.

Other symptoms would include ear pain, swelling, difficulty swallowing and a white debris around the tonsils which may not always be visible.

Treatment

There are a handful of treatment options for tonsilloliths. The fist thing to know, however, is that many of them will go on their own, as your system fight them off. But you can also employ the following methods.

It could be removed at home by using swabs or picks

An alternative is to gargle warm salt water to help ease the discomfort

Antibiotics will also help the healing process feel easier and faster

In cases where they are unusually large, it may require the services of a surgeon.

Gums Disease (periodontal)

This is definitely one of the most common dental problems and could also be associated with chronic tooth pain. Our teeth are held together by tissues, which we also call gums. Because there is usually a considerable amount of bacteria in the mouth, some of it could stick to the teeth and harden after a while. It is usually the result of poor dental hygiene, particularly inadequate brushing or flossing. When bacteria is left unattended to in this way, it could lead to bleeding and painful gums which make chewing difficult. This disease may even lead to removal of teeth.

Causes of Periodontal

The substance (plague) that causes this disease is a combination of bacteria, mucus and other particles in the mouth. If plague is not removed, it could also become hardened, forming what is known as tartar, only removable by dentists. It is important to note that the predominant risk factor to this disease is smoking, which could also make it more difficult to treat.

Symptoms

Persistent bad breath. If you have been trying to deal with bad breath and have not been able to make a headway after many attempts, it is possible that periodontal is a root cause.

Swollen gums. There is not supposed to be any inflammation of the gums. Excepts you had an accident that involved your mouth, swollen gums are a sign of gum disease and should be attended to as soon as possible.

Bleeding ans tender gums. Swollen gums are usually tender and may may bleed at the slightest irritation. However, if gums are unusually tender and bleeding without irritation, it is a symptom of gum disease. In some cases, the gums also recede, exposing the teeth more.

Those who have this disease may also realize that chewing becomes difficult or painful and the teeth are extremely sensitive to and irritated by thing like hot or cold water, lemon or other acidic foods.

Treatment

As with other dental ailments, victims will require better oral hygiene practices to curb the problem. Brush your teeth more effectively is not more frequently. Flossing should be done more often to prevent accumulation of bacteria ans food particles that prolong the disease. It is also important to always use the right toothbrush and brushing methods that minimize the formation of cavities.

There should also be frequent dental checks to avoid formation of tartar.

It is interesting to note that these common dental problems can effectively be prevented by constantly practicing good dental hygiene.

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