Most people know that taking good care of your mouth can prevent many diseases or unwanted conditions. However, many of those people don’t know exactly what those diseases are. If you want to find out what kind of problems can an unhealthy mouth bring you, take a look at this two-article series.
The teeth play an essential role in digestion: they are in charge of grinding what you eat, making it easier for your stomach to brake the structure of the food and thus ensure it is properly absorbed by your intestines. Therefore, keeping your teeth healthy is important to keep your body working correctly.
When no adequate attention is given to your teeth, a series of undesired conditions will appear:
Cavities, also known as “dental decay”, are maybe the most widely known of dental problems. They are also one of the easiest to prevent.
A cavity is, simply put, a hole in one of your teeth. As the exterior part (the enamel) of a tooth is not alive, a superficial cavity causes no pain. It may, however, lead to an increase of sensitivity, making you more susceptible to temperature (i.e. your tooth can hurt when you drink a cold drink, like iced tea, or a hot one, like a cup of coffee).
If a cavity is left untreated, it will become bigger and deeper. When it gets deep enough to reach the dentin, which is the matter beneath the enamel, it may cause pain, ranging from a little discomfort to a moderate pain. But the dentin is not as hard as the enamel, and will be easily destroyed by an untreated cavity.
If the cavity progresses further into the tooth and gets beyond the dentin and into the pulp chamber, it will cause extreme pain. This is because the pulp connects with your jaws’ nerves directly.
Also, as there is a hole exposing an inner part of your body (essentially the same as a deep cut), it can cause infections. Some of those infections are extremely dangerous, and can even be life threatening if they are left untreated.
As the exterior of the tooth is not a living part of your body, it lacks the ability to regenerate and heal on its own. For this reason, the only way to get rid of cavities is to let a professional dentist take care of it by removing the affected part of your tooth and then rebuilding it with a special material.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of your gums, which are soft masses of tissue that cover the roots of your teeth. When your gums swell, they expose a part of the root, which is very sensitive to temperature.
Gingivitis also makes your gums bleed easily, which keeps a path open for any tiny foreign object, fungus or bacteria to enter your bloodstream and cause an infection.
A “light” case of gingivitis will present itself with a little pain or an “itchy” feeling. On more advanced cases, your gums get completely detached from your teeth, leaving a pus-filled space between them. In addition to pain, gingivitis causes halitosis (stinky breath), and loose teeth.
Both gingivitis and cavities can be prevented by brushing your teeth regularly.
This brief article has talked about the two most common problems that can affect an unhealthy mouth. Keep an eye opened for the second part of this series, where we will address some less common (but very dangerous) mouth problems.
See you around!