Teeth are an important structure used for breaking down food, speaking correctly and getting ahead in the world. A beaming smile will make a person appear more attractive and confident while a mouth replete with dental plaque, tartar and missing teeth will lead to the opposite response. That is why individuals are encouraged to follow a lifestyle complete with oral hygiene, regular trips to the dentist and an offensive dental care strategy.
Eating a healthful diet, exercising regularly, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste twice daily and flossing at least once a day is the prescription for daily oral hygiene. Additionally, consumers are encouraged to visit the dentist at least twice a year for cleanings, exams and as a way to implement dental treatments as part of preventative dentistry. Those behaviors combined with some easy preemptive moves will help ensure that a person's mouth and teeth are part of the healthiest smile possible.
Dental insurance and medical insurance are completely separate industries, despite the fact that both have been developed as a way to help making care affordable. Regardless of the division in the marketplace, the mouth/body connection is forever intertwined in humans and regular examinations of oneâ€™s mouth and oral cavity are essential to ensuring that everything is okay.
With some exceptions (such as postmenopausal women), most individuals are encouraged to see the dentist twice a year or ever six months. In between those dental clinic appointments, patients need to act as their own advocate and conduct a self-exam of their oral cavity to detect any dental problems including various types of oral cancer.
According to the OralCancerFoundation.org, annually 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed with various oral cancer while the number is closer to 640,000 worldwide. It is important to note the disease can occur in both non-smokers and smokers alike. Unfortunately, the condition has a higher mortality rate than other cancers as "historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development," (http://oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/index.htm). That is why individuals must include regular self-exams into their oral hygiene routine.
The exam process includes looking at lips, tongues and cheeks for visible signs such as spots of red-and-white, tongue flaking, sores with irregular borders and colored lesions. According to 1-800-DENTIST "Any sore, discoloration, induration, prominent tissue, irritation, hoarseness, which does not resolve within a two week period on its own, with or without treatment, should be considered suspect and worthy of further examination or referral." A dentist can then deliver a professional oral cancer exam to catch and treat the cancer in its' earliest stages and increase one's odds of surviving and thriving after a diagnosis.
The human mouth is constructed to hold 32 permanent teeth. While that number may be lower because of wisdom tooth extractions, all teeth must be taken care of daily and special attention must be paid to the devices furthest in the back of a mouth to ensure that all teeth receive the dental care and attention they need.
Regardless of if they are wisdom teeth or molars, the teeth in the back of the mouth are the most highly vulnerable to dental problems such as cavities. Back teeth are more prone to dental problems for two reasons. The first is simply dental neglect as most people simply ignore brushing their back teeth as they refuse to dedicate the full two minutes needed for proper tooth brushing. Secondly, the back teeth (comprised of molars and premolars) naturally have pits and fissures, (the visible grooves on top of teeth) that can hold food particles and dental plaque both of which will contribute to tooth decay in their own special ways.
No matter if they are called mouth ulcers or canker sores, the oral lesions can be extremely uncomfortable. The infections tend to look "shallow and circular in appearance, these small, painful sores appear white or gray at the center with a surrounding red border," and cause dental problems including sensitivity, pain, stinging or oral burning (1-800-DENTIST).
Patients can temporarily relive pain by using a topical pain-relief gel, however if the devices linger on for longer then two weeks, a trip to the dentist may be in order. Not only can a dentist treat the sore using a soft-tissue laser, but determine if the lesion is part of a greater, underlying condition such as oral cancer.
Consumers who implement the recommended preventative dentistry care at home must acknowledge that the practices must be in addition to regular oral hygiene and dentist visits. Those looking to find a great dentist to head up their dental care efforts can call 1-800-DENTIST, 24/7 to get the name of a local dentist up to the challenge.