Dental science, sometimes called dental medicine, is an important branch of medical science that includes the study, diagnosis, treatment, prevention of oral diseases, disorders and conditions. Oral problems can affect any part of your body, but they usually affect the teeth, gums, jaw, and tongue. Most oral diseases can be prevented and managed with regular checkups, cleanings, fluoride treatments, regular dentist visits, x-rays, etc. The most common oral diseases are gum disease (also called periodontitis), cavities, bad breath, toothaches, periodontal pockets, tooth loss and sensitivity, tooth pain or tenderness, dental caries, gingivitis, halitosis, oral cancer, oral surgery or oral surgical procedures, jaw or neck pain, post menopausal issues, oral complications such as peptic ulcers, and more. Oral problems can even affect your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and self-image.
Dental health is achieved through good oral hygiene and good oral care. It begins with brushing your teeth at least twice each day, and you should floss at least once a day. Flossing is part of a total mouth care program and should include daily dental flossing, cleaning of your tongue, removing plaque with a soft bristled brush, removing tartar with a file, and removal of stains and food residue from your teeth, along with regular dental visits and cleanings. Some dentists provide their patients with specially designed floss or brush heads called “sink floss” that are easier to use than traditional floss. Some dentists have introduced a new technique in the use of ultraviolet light in the treatment of gum disease.
Dental decay begins in the first year of life, usually on the left or right side of your child’s face. Left untreated dental decay will spread to the jaw bone and teeth. Dental decay can cause a severe condition called “cavity scaling,” in which the entire surface of your teeth may begin to peel. Dental decay requires immediate attention from a dentist and may even require surgery to treat. Dental decay should not be ignored, since it poses a risk to your overall health. Children with cavities are more likely to be suspended from school, because they are more difficult to teach.
Maintaining good oral health includes brushing three times a day, flossing daily, and regular dental visits. Brushing helps remove surface food that may have become trapped between teeth, while flossing is designed to remove particles that may have become stuck between the teeth. If you do not brush and floss regularly, plaque may begin to accumulate between teeth, between the teeth, or in crevices near the gum line. These particles weaken tooth enamel and cause cavities.
Antibiotics are often used to treat oral infections, including bacterial plaque, which is made when bacteria build up on tooth enamel. If you do not want to take an antibiotic, there are over-the-counter pain relievers that you can purchase from any pharmacy. When suffering from sore gums, sore throats, or discomfort after brushing your teeth, you may consider applying an oral antibiotic before visiting the dentist. Before taking an antibiotic, discuss the possible side effects with your dentist. You also need to know if you will be prescribed pain medication before and after taking antibiotics.
Dental flossing helps reduce the chances that cavities will develop because it removes food particles that become stuck between your teeth. It is important to floss regularly to maintain good oral hygiene, but it is especially important to floss after brushing, since food that becomes trapped between the teeth can lead to cavities. Regular visits to the dentist will help prevent cavities from forming; however, it is not enough to prevent them. It is important to practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily. If you notice that your mouth feels dry, moist, or you have a scratch or other type of sore or tender spot on your mouth, contact your dentist immediately. Your dentist can perform any necessary treatments to treat your dry mouth condition and help you prevent future cavities.