The mouth is a natural gateway to the body and is an entry point for many of the bacteria that can cause diseases and illnesses throughout the entire body. This is why it’s important to practice preventative oral care by maintaining good brushing and flossing habits at home, drinking plenty of water, chewing sugar-free gum or xylitol, eating a well-balanced diet and visiting your dentist in Torrance regularly for cleanings and examinations. This will help reduce the risk of tooth decay and other serious oral diseases, which can affect a person’s nutrition, self-esteem and overall health.
Oral diseases are conditions affecting the mouth and teeth, including tooth decay, gum disease, bone loss and other problems that can have a negative impact on a person’s quality of life. They are among the world’s most common diseases, causing pain and discomfort and sometimes affecting one’s ability to eat or to speak. These diseases may also be symptoms of an underlying medical condition and can lead to other chronic health problems if not treated.
These diseases are preventable through a combination of effective partnerships between families, oral health professionals (e.g., family dentists, dental hygienists), and other health professionals (e.g., physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians). Optimal oral health is essential for the whole body and can improve quality of life through better overall health, self-esteem, and more.
Practicing good oral hygiene is the most effective way to prevent these issues and ensure a healthy smile. This includes twice-daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste and daily flossing, as well as avoiding excessive sugar intake, drinking plenty of water, chewing gum or xylitol to avoid dryness in the mouth that could allow bacteria to grow, and regular dental checkups and cleanings at least once every six months.
The most common and preventable form of oral disease is tooth decay, known as caries or cavities. This occurs when bacteria in the mouth use sugars from food and drinks to produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. If the acid remains on the teeth for 20 minutes or more, it can erode or destroy the tooth. The bacteria also remove calcium and other minerals from the teeth, a process called demineralization. This can lead to tooth decay, and if it is not treated, can result in more severe dental problems such as gum disease or even loss of the teeth.
It is possible to prevent tooth decay by following a good oral hygiene routine, such as brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day. It is also important to drink enough water, especially after meals, and to choose foods and beverages that are low in sugar and offer a variety of nutrients, such as fresh fruits, vegetables and unsweetened coffee or tea. Other important preventative steps include avoiding tobacco products and using a mouthwash that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.