How to Prevent the 3 Most Common Oral Health Problems
November 2, 2020
A healthy, attractive smile can give a person a strong sense of self-esteem, help them eat a balanced diet, and allow them to speak and laugh with ease. That is why preventive oral care – both at home and at the dentist’s office – is so important. Do you want to maintain a happy, healthy smile for many years to come? Then keep reading to learn how to fight against the 3 most common oral health problems – and why regularly visiting a dentist in North Jacksonville is critical.
#1: Tooth Decay
Cavities, also called tooth decay, are one of the most common chronic diseases among children and young adults. Cavities are caused by harmful bacteria in the mouth, which feeds on sugar and produces acids that wear away tooth enamel. If left untreated, small cavities can grow and penetrate the inner layers of teeth, eventually leading to serious damage or even tooth loss.
Fortunately, tooth decay can often be prevented by following these tips:
- Brush twice a day for a full two minutes each time
- Floss at least once daily to remove bits of food that get stuck between teeth
- Consider dental sealants, a protective plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of molars
- Drink tap water; most community tap water contains fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral that helps prevent tooth decay
- Visit a dentist twice a year for a dental exam and cleaning
#2: Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is an infection of the tissues in the mouth that support teeth. Caused by the bacteria in plaque, untreated gum disease can lead to irreversible bone damage, severe gum recession and even tooth extractions.
Want to keep your gums in good shape? Gum disease can usually be prevented simply by brushing and flossing daily and visiting a dentist twice a year for routine checkups.
#3: Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a form of the deadly disease that occurs in parts of the mouth and throat, including the lips, tongue, gums, esophagus and more. While there is no proven way to prevent oral cancer, you can reduce your risk of developing this form of the disease if you:
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco
- Avoid heavy alcohol use
- Protect your lips from excessive sun exposure
- Visit a dentist every six months
Why Biannual Dental Visits Are Critical
Did you notice the one piece of advice that was mentioned for each of the 3 oral health problems listed above? Here is why visiting your dentist in North Jacksonville twice a year for a dental exam and cleaning is so important:
- Tooth Decay – Only a dental professional can remove cavity-causing tartar from your teeth during a routine cleaning.
- Gum Disease – The early signs of gum disease can be hard to spot at home in the mirror, but your dentist will never miss them during a dental exam.
- Oral Cancer – Early detection is key to overcoming oral cancer. Your dentist looks for signs of the potentially deadly disease during every dental exam.
Now that you know how to fight against the most common oral health issues, what are you waiting for? Give your dentist a call today!
About the Author
Dr. William D. Baxter has provided comprehensive oral care for nearly 25 years at North Jacksonville Complete Dentistry. The proud United States Coast Guard veteran is a true believer in the power of preventive care and offers dental sealants, oral cancer screenings and more at his private practice. For more preventive oral care advice, visit the North Jacksonville Complete Dentistry website or call 904-751-4958.
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