June is national oral health month in the United States. Oral Health month is supported by the American Dental Association and serves as a reminder to the importance of good oral hygiene.
This includes but not limited to brushing at least twice daily, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist not only to keep your mouth healthy but also contributes to better overall health. Oral health can have an impact on your overall wellbeing, this June consider the preventative steps you can take to make sure your mouth and the rest of your body are healthy throughout the year. Compared to other parts of the body people often ignore problems in the mouth. Bleeding and tender gums, oral pain, and mouth infection are common problems which are often ignored but can affect quality of life. Oral problems can affect the way a person speaks, eats, and socializes. Serious diseases including oral cancer affect the oral cavity, over 50,000 adults will be diagnosed with oral and pharyngeal cancer which is often diagnosed at a late stage when treatments are less effective. By visiting the dentist on a regular basis, problems can be diagnosed earlier and there is a better treatment outcome.
There are several ways you can improve your oral health, this includes regular visits to the dentist, this can be every 4-6 months depending on your individual circumstances. Regular dental hygiene appointments remove plaque and tarter from teeth below the gums. Your teeth will then be polished and flossed to remove surface stains which helps prevent bone loss and cavities. Brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal removes food and plaque which gets lodged between teeth and gums. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, brush your teeth and tongue for at least 2 minutes. Use of antibacterial mouthwashes can reduce plaque formation, infection, and eliminates bad breath. Healthy unprocessed foods help the body fight infection. Avoid acidic beverages such as orange juice and carbonated beverages as they can wear away the enamel that protects your teeth. Also, minimize sugar intake as sugar, when acted on by oral bacteria, causes most dental problems including cavities and periodontal diseases. Brush your teeth after consuming sugar containing drinks or foods. Check your mouth for any oral cancer warning signs including red or white discolorations, bleeding, sores which do not heal, or small thickened areas in the mouth. Avoid tobacco products as these cause bad breath, staining of teeth, heart disease, and cancer.
A child’s primary or baby teeth are important for facial growth and space maintenance for permanent teeth. The American Dental Association recommends that a children’s dentist or pediatric dentist evaluate a child after their first birthday. Tooth decay in infants is often referred to as bottle decay which can occur when a baby is put to bed with a sugar containing juice. Rampant decay of the entire dentition can occur. Water containing fluoride is a better choice, the fluoride can reduce tooth decay over 60%. Thumb sucking or pacifiers can result in open bite dental deformities which may require extensive orthodontic treatment to correct.
During the teen years the wisdom teeth begin to erupt. Lack of space for these teeth can cause serious infections, cysts, and tumors within the jaws. Evaluation and treatment by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon can prevent future problems by early removal. Missing teeth can be replaced utilizing dental implants, the bone actually bonds to the surface of the implants and restoration of individual teeth or entire mouth can be accomplished making removable dentures and partials a thing of the past. Implants when properly cared for can last a lifetime.
Dr. Robert L Bass
Desert Oral Surgery
72780 El Paseo Ste E1
Palm Desert, CA 92260