World Oral Health Day 2012

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Brushing your teeth is important for oral health, but your toothbrush can’t do it all. You can scrub all the reachable surfaces of your teeth but some areas are impossible for a toothbrush to get at. Food gets caught between your teeth. A film of bacteria can harden becoming plaque if you don’t remove it. This plaque can become a hard mineral deposit called tartar.

 

Tartar on your teeth will only be eliminated by a dental professional. If tartar isn’t dealt with it can make cleaning between your teeth harder to accomplish. The tissue of your gums can swell and bleed. This is the early phase of gum disease called gingivitis.

Gingivitis is a form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection that destroys the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, the periodontal ligaments, and the tooth sockets (alveolar bone).

The following raise your risk for gingivitis:

  • Certain infections and body-wide (systemic) diseases
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Pregnancy (hormonal changes increase the sensitivity of the gums)
  • Uncontrolled diabetes

Misaligned teeth, rough edges of fillings, and ill-fitting or unclean mouth appliances (such as braces, dentures, bridges, and crowns) Use of certain medications, including phenytoin, bismuth, and some birth control pills.

You can improve your oral health between dental visits by flossing your teeth. This removes interproximal dental plaque which is plaque that accumulates between your teeth. Flossing can also polish the surfaces of your teeth, and reduce bad breath. You should brush your teeth twice a day.

Tooth infection is any kind of infection that occurs in the teeth and associated parts such as gums and tissues. It is most commonly caused by severe tooth decay. The infection can also spread from the root of the tooth to the supporting bone and tissue structures of the teeth. The most common symptom of tooth infection is mild to severe toothache that occurs continuously. This pain is often described as throbbing, sharp or a shooting pain and varies depending on the position and severity of the infection.

The infection may not stick to the affected teeth alone. Instead it may sometimes spread to the gums and tissues as well. When the gums are infected they become red and swollen.

The infection can also lead to swelling and tenderness in the jaws. Other symptoms of tooth infection include:

  • Bleeding in the gums
  • Appearance of mouth sores that are filled with pus
  • Discoloration of the infected tooth
  • Sleeplessness
  • Muscle spasms in the jaw

The pain associated with the infection may stop if the infected tooth dies off, but this does not indicate that the infection has healed. In fact the infection stays active and continues to spread and cause damage to the tissues. If any of these symptoms are experienced it is best to contact your dentist and go for a checkup.

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