Dental health can have a major impact on the quality of one’s life. While many people first associate dental health with a white smile, cosmetic issues are only part of what makes oral health so important. When dental issues become a problem, it can affect daily life choices and your overall mood.
What Does Dental Health Mean?
Dental health, also known as oral health, pertains to the status of one’s mouth. This includes both teeth and gums. When dental health is high, the mouth functions as it should. If oral health is in poor condition, this can create complications.
Poor dental health does not necessarily indicate poor dental habits. There are many causes of poor dental health including genetics and even accidents. A healthy or unhealthy mouth can be deceiving. Just because a person’s teeth are white does not necessarily mean they have good oral health.
A healthy mouth means you can chew and speak without difficulty or pain. While there are other hallmarks of good oral health, problems that relate to chewing or speaking are clear indicators that oral health may be to blame.
Common Oral Health Problems
There are a variety of conditions that can cause difficulties with dental health. While some of these problems may not seem bothersome, they can become worse without proper dental care.
Some of these conditions include:
- Injuries to the mouth
- Gum disease
- Tooth discoloration
Injuries to the mouth can happen to anyone, regardless if they are athletic or risk-avoidant. By chipping or knocking a tooth accidentally, teeth replacement or maintenance may be necessary.
Missing teeth can be both cosmetically and physically problematic. When the teeth are not properly aligned, food can become stuck and create flossing and brushing issues.
Gum disease, known as periodontitis, occurs when a gum infection has damaged the soft tissue inside the mouth. If gum disease is not properly treated, this can lead to tooth loss or tooth loosening. While many people can prevent this type of condition by flossing and brushing teeth regularly, genetics can also play a key role.
Tooth discoloration is another oral health problem that can cause some people to become embarrassed when smiling. Less serious discoloration can occur from coffee or nicotine stains, but this can be an indication of other issues. A dentist can detect what the problem is and know how to treat it.
Cavities are a common oral health issue. Many people, despite good oral hygiene practices, will experience a cavity at one point during their lifetime. Once a cavity has formed, it may not be noticeable, but over time, it can cause tooth pain and eventually lead to more problematic conditions. Fixing a cavity is not a difficult process and can be done in a relatively short amount of time.
When Does A Dental Health Issue Become Problematic?
A dental health issue can easily become problematic if it is not treated by a medical professional such as a dentist. When first noticing any oral pain, it is important to visit a dentist as soon as possible instead of allowing a greater condition to occur.
Dental health issues can affect daily life. This can happen through physical pain or embarrassment. When there is discoloration of a tooth or tooth loss, this can be easily apparent to others and for this reason, many people may feel self-conscious when talking or smiling.
Although many dental health issues are not a result of poor hygiene practice, the stigma can feel daunting. For those who feel embarrassed by their dental health, exposing one’s mouth may be avoided out of fear or embarrassment. This can have a lasting impact socially and professionally.
Physical pain can also result from dental health conditions. To avoid physical pain from eating, some people may find themselves avoiding certain foods or opting for soft meals instead of chewy ones. Waiting for the pain to go away rarely works and can lead to worse mouth conditions if left untreated.
If dental issues are not treated over a long period of time, they can lead to major health concerns that will greatly impact the quality of life. Some of these conditions include oral cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Infections from gum disease can even lead to respiratory infections which can make breathing difficult over time.
Taking aspirin or other over-the-counter medications only treat the symptoms of poor dental health. To actually get rid of the problem, a trained medical professional is needed to assess the condition and properly treat it. Visiting a dentist as soon as possible is always recommended so the problem does not get worse.
What Can A Dentist Do?
A dentist can work with you to help you have the oral health necessary to live a healthy and functional life. Whether a tooth is missing, cracked, discolored, or infected, a medical professional can properly assess tooth conditions so that tooth pain can be stopped, prevented, or both.
There are a variety of treatments available depending on the cause of a dental condition. For those who do not have tooth pain, routine cleaning is a regular part of dentistry. By visiting a dentist twice a year, teeth can maintain good oral health. Other treatments can include dental implants and wisdom tooth removal.
Dr. John Paul Gallardo DDS offers multiple treatment options for optimal dental health. Both teeth and gum conditions can be treated in a professional and prompt manner for proper care.
For a practice that offers bilingual communication options as well as the ability to discuss any concerns, please make an appointment using our contact page. Dental health plays a critical role in the health of both children and adults. The right care can make a difference in everyday life.