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Common Oral Diseases for Adults and When to See a Dentist

Proper oral hygiene is crucial in maintaining overall body wellness. Going above and beyond daily brushing and flossing your teeth can help lower your risk for diseases. Visiting your dentist every 6 months for professional cleanings, maintaining a balanced diet and not smoking will help keep your mouth and teeth healthy. Regular dental exams will also help to identify oral diseases before they grow and spread.

Below are the most common oral diseases in adults.

Gum Disease and Gingivitis

The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis and it is the only reversible stage. If left untreated, gingivitis will lead to a more serious oral condition called periodontitis. Early gum disease symptoms can easily go undetected in day to day life, making dental checkups vital to maintaining healthy gums.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can affect any area of your mouth including the lips, cheek lining, tongue and throat. If you have a family history or genetic predisposition, your dentist will perform an oral cancer screening at every checkup. Oral cancer caught early on can be treated more easily.

Oral Cancer ScreeningsSymptoms of Oral Cancer

  • Sores that bleed easily and do not heal
  • A new hard lump growth
  • A new rough area
  • Numbness, pain or tenderness
  • A shift in your bite

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth from time to time is normal, though if you are experiencing dry mouth more often than not there may be an underlying issue. Dry mouth can be caused by a number of issues, including tooth decay. Consult your dentist if you are concerned about your dry mouth symptoms. Your dentist will check your teeth for signs of decay which can result from decreased salivary flow.

If you experience dry mouth due to a medication you are taking or from a particular health condition, it’s important to take proper care of your teeth. Without the cleansing effects of salvia, tooth decay becomes more common.

Dental Decay & Cavities

Tooth decay is permanently damaged areas in teeth which develop into tiny holes known as cavities. Plaque, mostly made up of bacteria, is the cause of tooth decay. The decay will start in the enamel and if left untreated will decay deep into the tooth and even progress to the roots. Cavities can be identified from a dental exam and confirmed with an x-ray. Sensitivity in a tooth is a leading symptom of tooth decay.

How to prevent tooth decay:

  • Brush your teeth at a minimum twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss everyday
  • Limit sugary snacks
  • See your dentist or oral health professional regularly

Dentists Examining X RayOral Infections

There are many different types of viruses which can cause sores and infections. Proper oral hygiene can help prevent certain infections from occurring. Below are common oral infections in children and adults:

  • Hand, foot, and mouth disease
  • Thrush
  • Herpangina
  • Canker sores
  • Oral herpes

Momentum Plans Dental Insurance

Oral health has a significant impact on your overall health. Poor dental hygiene can lead to pain, discomfort, and even oral diseases, which left untreated can cause serious health risks. The best way to prevent your oral health from declining is by participating in regular preventative maintenance like biannual cleanings and staying on top of your dental health with a trusted dental provider. By enrolling in individual dental insurance from Momentum Plans you can help protect your oral health now and in the future. 

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