Oral Hygiene Isn’t Just Brushing and Flossing
According to Colgate, America’s largest toothpaste manufacturer, tooth decay is only one of the major oral infections out there today. Viruses caused by oral bacteria and viruses can lead to many different infections of the mouth affecting both adults and children. Here is a list of the major dental problems to watch out for.
Tooth Decay and Cavities (Dental Caries)
The most common one which affects more than 99% of the population is dental caries which is caused by tooth decay. “Streptococcus mutans” is the bacteria which leads to this one and almost everyone has been to the dentist to get a cavity filled at some point.
In the dental field, the term gingivitis refers to early gum disease which is caused by an assortment of different bacteria’s in the mouth. The bacteria make toxins once they get into your crevices in the gumline or beneath it and this leads to swelling and inflammation. Due to a reaction from gingivitis, gum bleeding can occur during brushing and flossing.
Periodontal Disease is closely related as it is the gum disease which results from gingivitis. Once the gingivitis spreads, it goes below your gumline and this is when pockets form below the gumline affecting the bone and the surrounding tissues. More than half of adults have gingivitis and about 10 percent have Periodontal Disease. It’s the leading cause of adults losing teeth.
Lesions which form in the mouth (usually on the gums) are referred to by dentists as apthous ulcers but are generally referred to as canker sores. They are more common with younger people and their cause isn’t fully known, canker sores have been observed to be triggered by a weak immune system, hormones and stress. They tend to go away on their own within 2 weeks.
Herpes on the Mouth (Oral Herpes)
According to the University of Rochester Med Center, up to 80 percent of all US adults carry the herpes disease. Once infected, carriers will have it in their system for life, but with treatments, it can stay dormant in your system. Some people may have no symptoms at all while others could experience flu like symptoms.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus) – Oral Warts
HPV and warts come in a variety of different strains according to https://warts.org/types/oral-wart. They will typically appear small, painless and generally unnoticeable, but can become inflamed and painful when traumatized or irritated. They can show up on the lips or anywhere in the oral cavity. Warts in or around the mouth are usually white or skin colored and have a small dome-like shape. Not all HPV results in Oral Warts, but all oral warts are come from HPV.
Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease/Herpangina
The most likely victims of the hand, foot and mouth diseases are kids (toddlers through elementary school aged). It usually starts with a day or two of fever and sore throat, followed by blisters inside the cheeks and on the tongue which can be slightly painful. The blisters also commonly appear on the soles of the feet, palms of the hand and on the buttox. The hand, foot & mouth disease is usually a result of the virus Coxsackie A16. It doesn’t normally last more than 3 days.
Herpangia is a disease related to the hand, foot and mouth disease which also normally affects kids (typically 10 years old and below). Aside from the symptoms above, it can last a few days longer and blisters form in the back of the mouth which, when they rupture, form big ulcers.
Most diseases and mouth infections are avoidable by good oral hygiene and avoiding the bacteria and viruses which bring them alive. Having a strong immune system, getting enough sleep and eating healthy can go a long way to preventing many diseases.