Our teeth are incredibly important to our quality of life, but they can often go underappreciated. That may be why so many people are suffering from oral health conditions to some extent.
Of course, some of these conditions are more damaging than others, but each of them is worth taking a look at and addressing before they get worse. If you’re interested, here are the most common oral health problems you’re likely to find, and how to prevent them.
“Caries” is the formal term for areas of tooth decay, and as you can imagine, they’re incredibly common. Studies have shown that tooth decay is the most common chronic health condition there is among both children and adults.
Decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth that consume sugars and secrete acids. If you’re lax with your dental hygiene, then food left over from meals can feed those bacteria, creating more of these acids and contributing to decay.
It’s estimated that nearly 50% of adults in the U.S. have gum disease to some extent, making it not only one of the most common oral health conditions, but among the most common diseases period. At low levels, the symptoms of gum disease are mild enough that you might not even know you have it.
However, gum disease is also degenerative, meaning that it only gets worse with time. In advanced stages, this can entail bad breath, bleeding gums, and even tooth loss. Speaking of which…
“Edentulism” is the technical term for complete tooth loss. This condition is usually the result of a lifelong history of poor oral health. The WHO estimates that 7% of people over 20 across the world suffer from edentulism, and that rate shoots up to 23% among people over 60.
How to Prevent Oral Health Problems
These oral health problems are incredibly common, and unfortunately, many of them can get worse with time. Here are some things you can do to prevent these conditions from taking hold in the first place:
- Brush twice a day, and floss daily to break up plaque deposits
- Cut back on sugary foods
- Quit smoking, as nicotine can lead to a host of oral health problems
- See your dentist for biannual checkups and cleanings
About Our Practice
At Washington Dental Associates, keeping our patients in perfect oral health is our top priority. That means not only making use of cutting-edge dental technology, but also ensuring that our patients are comfortable and happy to keep coming back to our office. If you want to see how good dental care can be, we look forward to meeting you!
If you have any questions about the most common oral health conditions, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (201) 453-4863.