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THE DEEP MEANING OF ORAL HYGIENE AND DENTAL CARE

When people talk about oral hygiene and dental care, everyone thinks of brushing and flossing, toothpaste, toothbrush and professional teeth cleaning by the dentist  etc. In other words, people think of something boring but after reading this article you will change your idea and you will run to clean your teeth as never before.

Do you know what may happen in your mouth if you avoid adequate oral hygiene procedures ? First of all your breath becomes so smelly that nobody will talk to you or even kiss you. Who likes bad breath ? Even if this is already terrible, it is not the worst thing that may happen to you.

When you do not clean your teeth after eating, a sticky transparent bio-film called dental plaque forms collecting bad bacteria around your teeth and onto you gums. If not removed promptly, that bio-film hardens becoming tartar (calculus). You can brush as much as you want but you'll never be able to get rid of tartar without the help of the dental hygienist that will remove those calculus with ultrasonic tools.

At this point different pathologies may happen in your mouth.

Caries developing

Bacteria within the dental plaque produce toxins that erode the dental enamel forming tooth cavities. If caught in time, caries are easy to treat. However, if leaved developing, the infection attack the inner part of the tooth where blood vessels and nerves are located. When the last two item are under attack of bacteria, you feel the most painful toothache you can imagine. Medically speaking, this pathology is called “pulpitis” just because the name of the inner part of each tooth is called pulpitis.

The only dental treatment your dentist can perform to save the tooth is the conventional root canal treatment also known as endodontic therapy. In other words, the endodontist has to clean the dental canal and seal it with biocompatible material in order to avoid a new infection can start again. If the natural crown has been highly damaged by the caries, a prosthetic crown is required.

Periodontal and gum disease

Bacteria acids do not erode the tooth enamel only but irritate the periodontal tissue starting from the gum line. You can easily discover your gingiva are suffering because you will see them bleeding while brushing and flossing. Additional symptoms are redness and gingival swelling.

At this early stage, the oral pathology that affects your gums is called gingivitis, the most mild and reversible form of gum disease.

Two different types of mouth abscess

If not removed, tartar may also start to irritate your gingival tissue that becomes read and swollen. As much you keep that infected material there as more the soft tissue that support your teeth get inflamed. The result is that the pink tone gingiva separates from the tooth surface leaving bacteria to penetrate creating deep gum pockets.

It is impossible to remove bacteria from the pockets because toothbrush bristles cannot reach them. Once that happens an infection starts and nobody knows what it can cause in your body. Infection creates pus that accumulates in the pockets leading to periodontal abscess.

When the bubble filled of pus appears in your mouth, you may be tempted to pop it by your own but it is not a good idea for different reasons: first of all because you may allow the infection to spread where else. The first thing your dentist will do, is to drain the boil squeezing the bump. When the pus is completely removed, the doctor has to disinfect the gum pockets placing there inside a local antibiotic.

There is another type of abscess called periapical because it affects the dental element supporting tissue and it is located around the tip of the dental root (externally). How bacteria can reach that spot ? They exit the internal part of the infected tooth through its tip where nerves come in.

The body tries to fight the infection creating a kind of barrier around the infection but if you don't go to the dentist, that bubble grows because the pus accumulation. Even your pain increases. You should remind that side by side with periodontics, periapical infection is the main cause of tooth loss because it destroys the structure that keep each dental element in its place within the bony alveolus .

Even in this case, the first treatment you will receive is the abscess drainage to get rid of the pus as well as the pain. Unlike for periodontal abscesses, periapical ones can be solved with the conventional endodontic therapy if the tooth root is straight or the apicoectomy in case the first root canal treatment already failed.

Final thoughts

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, dental plaque may cause you different oral pathologies from the mild gingivitis to the most severe periodontitis or abscesses.

Now you can easily understand how important it is to take daily care of  your  teeth and gums and visit your dentist every six months to get your professional teeth cleaning and full mouth examination.

Using x-rays, your dentist can discover in time the small cavities that form between dental elements and treat them before they cause more severe and costly problems.

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