Oral Health

Oral health is the health of your mouth, including your teeth, gums, throat, and the bones around the mouth.

Good dental or oral care is important to maintaining healthy teeth, gums and tongue. Poor oral hygiene can lead to dental cavities and gum disease, and has also been linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Gainesville Dental Arts Oral Health Complications

Gum diseases are infections caused by plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If left untreated, the bacteria in plaque can destroy the tissue and bone around your teeth, leading to tooth loss. The bacteria can travel throughout your body and make you sick. Infections in your mouth can also affect your unborn baby if you are pregnant.

There are many steps you can take to keep your teeth healthy. For example, dental and oral disease can be greatly reduced by:

  • Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day
  • Flossing your teeth at least once a day
  • Decreasing your intake of sugar
  • Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables
  • Avoiding tobacco products
  • Drinking fluoridated water
  • Seeking professional dental care

Symptoms of dental and oral problems

If you experience any of the following warning signs of dental health issues, you should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible:

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

Factors that contribute to gingivitis and periodontitis

  • Smoking
  • Poor brushing habits
  • Frequent snacking on sugary foods and drinks
  • Diabetes
  • Use of medications that reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth
  • Family history, or genetics
  • Certain infections, such as HIV or AIDS
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Acid reflux, or heartburn
  • Frequent vomiting, due to the acid

Most dental and oral problems can be diagnosed during a dental exam. During an exam, your dentist will closely inspect your:

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