Overview on Common Dental Infections and its Prevention
Oral care is as important as taking care of any other body part and should be an important part of our daily routine. But it is majorly neglected by most of the people on daily basis. Oral care refers to taking care of your mouth, tongue, and teeth. It does not just end with brushing your teeth as a morning ritual, there’s more to it. People don’t take dental health care seriously which later results in severe problems. Oral cancer also results from non-maintenance of dental hygiene and is life-threatening, if not treated at the earliest.
You will be surprised to know that India has the highest number of oral cancers and other dental problems. The majority of people do not know about basic dental hygiene. They are unaware of the problems caused by poor oral health.
Common Dental infections
Let’s know about some common dental infections.
Bad Breath, also referred to as halitosis, is a very common oral problem. This results from poor dental hygiene and an unhealthy lifestyle. Different kinds of food like garlic, spices, soda, tobacco, and alcohol can also contribute to bad breath.
People with improper diets who eat less are also at the receiving end of bad breath. This is because when the body breaks down fat through chemical reactions, it can give an unpleasant smell to your breath. Diabetes or any gastric disease can also cause bad breath. This can be prevented with proper dental hygiene.
If the problem persists, consult your dentist immediately. It can also be a sign of other dental problems like dry mouth or periodontal disease. Mouthwash can be used to cover up the foul smell but it cannot treat the diseases related to it.
Cavities/ Tooth Decay
Cavity refers to the formation of tiny openings or holes in the teeth due to tooth decay. It occurs when acids in the mouth damage or decay the hard outer layer of the teeth, called enamel, and even the inner layer, called dentin. Cavities or tooth decay is one of the most common health problems.
While it’s a common misconception that cavities can only occur in kids or teenagers, it also affects adults majorly. Foods with high carbs can be a major cause of carbohydrates. If as kids, proper dental hygiene is not practiced, it can lead to the weakening of teeth and eventually lead to tooth decay.
Some symptoms of cavities include-
- Spontaneous Toothaches
- Sensitive teeth
- Pain when you bite down
- White, black or brown stains
- Pits or holes in teeth
Cavities, if untreated, can cause major dental problems and affect deeper layers of the teeth.
A tooth abscess is commonly known as a root infection. When a pocket of pus or abscess forms on the root of the teeth due to infection; it causes tooth abscess. Improper dental hygiene and a sugary diet are the common causes of root infections. It can also be caused due to other dental problems like tooth decay, gum diseases, or a cracked tooth.
Signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess include-
- Swelling in cheek or face
- Tooth sensitivity
- Foul smell when chewing with the infected tooth
- Pain while chewing
Root canal treatments are done to treat root infections.
A dry mouth is a condition, wherein the salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. This is also known as Xerostomia. Saliva is very important to help us digest our food properly and cleanse our mouths. This is also known as Xerostomia.
It can be caused due to the following reasons-
- Stress & anxiety
- Intake of tobacco or drugs
- Side effects of certain medications
- Nerve damage
Some common symptoms of dry mouth include a dry feeling in the throat, a sticky or dry feeling in the mouth, problems while eating or talking, bad breath, and a change in taste.
Treatments for dry mouth depend on its cause. It can also lead to serious issues like gingivitis or other tooth problems. A dry mouth can be prevented by taking good care of your oral hygiene and frequent dental check-ups.
Gum diseases like periodontitis & gingivitis are very common. Periodontitis is a very serious disease that can lead to tooth loss, if not treated properly. It starts as bacterial growth in the mouth. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum caused by bacterial infection.
Some causes of gum disease can be-
- Hormonal changes
- Diseases such as cancer or HIV
- Certain medications
- Poor oral hygiene
The symptoms of gum diseases might not be noticeable till later stages. Some signs can include- gum bleeding during brushing, bad breath or bad taste, receding gums, red swollen gums, or formation of pockets between teeth & gums.
Gum diseases can be prevented and prevented from getting worse. Maintaining proper dental hygiene is very important to avoid these diseases.
How to prevent Dental Infections?
Dental infections have become very common nowadays. It later leads to many serious diseases. While most of them can be treated, it’s always better to take some precautions rather than take any risks. All these diseases can easily be prevented with proper oral hygiene.
Following are some important tips to prevent dental problems-
- Brush twice a day after meals with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Don’t forget to brush before going to bed.
- Remember to floss once a day to clean between your teeth.
- Rinse daily with fluoride- containing mouthwash.
- Always stay hydrated.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco.
- Eat nutritious and balanced meals.
- Avoid food with high carbs and sugar levels.
- Schedule regular dental checkups.
Dental hygiene should be a part of our daily routine. If we can easily prevent these painful infections then we should follow all the steps to achieve a healthy mouth. Keep these steps in your mind and have a healthy life.