Taking care of your teeth is integral to upholding your overall health. While dental care seems straightforward to most, you need to factor in multiple practices to your daily routine to ensure your teeth remain healthy and bacteria-free. When learning to optimize your dental care routines, you may need to consult a dentist for professional guidance. Not only will you benefit from the directives issued, but you will also learn of the potential dental conditions and how to avoid them.
At Washington Dental, we prioritize helping our patients achieve and maintain the best dental health possible. Our years of practice in different dental fields equip us with the best knowledge and skill to administer dental care to patients seeking help in Los Angeles, Carson, Torrance, and Lomita, California. Therefore, you can schedule a consultation with us to help you start your journey to excellent oral health today.
The Importance of Upholding Good Dental Care Standards
Like any other part of the body, your dental health should be a priority to avoid dealing with severe complications. Many patients suffer from oral conditions that are easily preventable based on inadequate information on how to take care of their teeth.
When you create a workable dental care routine, you will avoid dealing with dental emergencies that range from surgeries to teeth extractions where necessary. Subsequently, you can also avoid incurring additional medical expenses in the process.
To appreciate the importance of upholding your dental health, you want to learn of the common dental problems affecting patients and their causes. This way, you can learn the various habits to avoid for a healthier lifestyle.
Conditions Arising From Poor Dental Care
Although some patients are more prone to dental problems because of genetics or other untreated medical conditions, most cases are associated with poor oral hygiene. Consequently, a patient may suffer significant harm when they decide to visit a dentist for a consultation. This is because they may be unaware of the building condition or dismiss it as temporary pain.
The following are conditions to look out for and avoid by upholding good oral hygiene:
- Oral infection
- Bad breath
- Tooth decay
- Dental abscess
- Gum disease
Common Causes of Dental Conditions
Poor oral hygiene will inevitably cause infections and other dental complications, so you want to understand the specific habits exposing you to the problems. With the information, you will be better equipped to seek solutions or change your lifestyle and adopt healthy habits instead. Some harmful practices that result in dental problems include:
Improper Brushing Habits
For most patients, brushing involves sweeping the toothbrush across all teeth surfaces without checking whether plaque is successfully removed. Additionally, keeping up with the recommended brushing times is not a priority for some, meaning that they may brush only a few times a week.
Due to this, your mouth becomes a breeding ground for disease-causing microbes that later result in serious dental conditions. Further, irregular brushing times may cause you to neglect your overall dental health even after the high consumption of sugary foods.
Further, neglecting your tongue when brushing is a common mistake among patients, resulting in reduced dental health quality. This is because your tongue covers a large surface area in your mouth, and can harbor millions of bacteria at a time. Therefore, failure to brush is as counterproductive as not brushing at all.
Excessive Taking of Sugary Food and Drinks
Taking treats once in a while is common and not problematic in itself, provided you understand the contents you consume. However, you may be prone to taking high amounts of sugary food and drinks, which exposes your teeth to increased bacteria replication.
The rationale behind this is that sugars are an excellent source of energy for microorganisms, as they break them down for rapid replication. Afterward, the bacteria will release the toxins and wastes in your mouth, resulting in bad breath and a turbid taste in your mouth. Due to this, you want to limit the amount of sugary food you consume, as it increases the chances of cavities and tooth decay significantly.
Cigarettes and other substances consumed by smoking pose a potential risk to your dental health because of the deposits in your teeth. For example, the tar contained in smoke is harmful because it hardens around your tooth enamels.
The situation is even worse where plaque has hardened around the teeth, as the tar will then accumulate around the plaque. This means that your tooth is surrounded by a thick layer of plaque and tar, which is harmful to your health.
Moreover, the chemical contents in the smoke are harmful to your gums and may result in loose teeth or periodontitis. Consequently, smokers are more prone to problems with retaining their teeth and biting or chewing correctly. You may also suffer from additional gum diseases as a frequent smoker.
Consuming Medicine that Dries Your Mouth
Saliva is an essential component in maintaining good oral hygiene, as it helps in chewing, talking, and swallowing. Therefore, a deficiency in the fluid can create extreme mouth dryness and cause wounds on your tongue. Moreover, your throat may also be severely affected by the dry effect.
If the medication causing mouth dryness was a medical prescription, you should speak to your doctor and request for a change where possible. This way, you will avoid dealing with adverse dental health problems.
Symptoms That Prompt a Dental Consultation
Most patients begin noticing a growing dental condition by experiencing symptoms. This often means that the condition has grown significantly and requires urgent medical attention. Nonetheless, some symptoms may indicate a problem in its early stages, giving you time to seek remedies as soon as possible.
Although each patient presents a unique set of dental problems, the following are commonly reported symptoms for various dental conditions:
- Bleeding gums when brushing, chewing, or flossing
- Loose and drifting teeth
- Sharp pain on your teeth when biting or chewing
- Swollen gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Tooth sensitivity
Possible Treatment Options for Your Dental Condition
After you visit your dentist seeking a medical remedy for the manifesting symptoms, they will conduct a medical exam to determine the cause of your problem. The exam may only require the dentist to conduct a physical examination for some.
On the other hand, you may need to undergo additional exams under an X-ray machine, a CT scan, or an MRI scan. If so, your dentist will guide you on how to avail yourself of the examinations and any further discussions as to costs. The tests are crucial to an accurate diagnosis, so you must undertake the processes for the best chances of comprehensive treatment.
Upon finding a diagnosis, your dentist will then prescribe the following treatment options depending on your condition:
Antibacterial Mouthwash Remedies
For patients suffering from conditions involving bacterial infections, antibacterial mouthwash prescriptions are helpful. Your dentist will recommend a specific brand for your reference and guide you on how many times to swish the mouthwash per day.
Please note that the prescribed mouthwash may be different from the regular brands available in stores. This is the case, especially where a bacterial condition has spread significantly and requires a stronger product than market-based options. Therefore, you want to follow the directives for the best chances of making a full recovery.
For conditions like tooth decay and severe dental abscess, the only viable option may be to extract the tooth. The treatment option is often the last resort, whereby most of the tooth is adversely affected and cannot serve its purpose if it remains.
Most patients are nervous about undergoing a tooth extraction for various reasons, including experiencing pain. However, you should note that your dentist will apply all necessary precautionary measures to ensure the extraction process proceeds smoothly.
Pain management is also secured by administering local anesthesia on the targeted tooth. By doing this, the dentist ensures you are in the most comfortable position throughout.
A Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatments are common medical procedures for severe tooth decay or infections affecting the pulp cavity. A typical procedure includes cleaning the affected area and removing the infected tooth pulp, as retaining it exposes you to recurrent infections.
You should note that root canals are often an alternative to tooth extractions, and they provide a chance to save the affected tooth and retain its function. Further, most root canals pave the way for fillings to be placed as a cover for the removed pulp. Afterward, you can continue chewing on the tooth as usual.
Dental Abscess Removal Through Minor Surgery
Dental abscess accumulation can result in the most uncomfortable pain for patients, as the pus spreads to the tooth nerves. Consequently, applying even the slightest pressure on an affected tooth when chewing can create severe pain and result in your inability to continue with your regular life.
The most effective remedy to treat dental abscess conditions is removing the pus pockets inside the tooth pulp. To do this, your dentist will conduct a minor dental surgery to enable them to reach the specific zone inside the tooth where pus has accumulated. Afterward, the dentist will clean the area and close it up for proper recovery.
Most filling procedures come as a conclusion to other previous treatments like root canals and dental abscess removal. Hence, it is a common remedy for patients dealing with dental infections that affect teeth enamels.
The rationale behind using a filling is to replace the surface area initially reduced by a decayed or infected tooth so that you can retain your normal teeth functions. Without fillings, the exposed pulp cavity would also be prone to reinfections, making it difficult to make a full recovery. As a result, your dentist will often recommend this treatment on top of the previously discussed procedures.
Placing Dental Implants
After undergoing a tooth extraction, the gap between your teeth may pose several challenges when eating or smiling, mainly if it is in a prominent position. You can reduce the visual and functional challenges by having dental implants installed. Additionally, implants are helpful in treating loose teeth, whereby your root is replaced, but the natural enamel is retained.
Your dental implant placement procedure involves using local anesthesia because the dentist will need to drill into your gums. After placing the implant in a suitable anchorage position, you will have a few days or weeks to heal, then return to the clinic to have your tooth crown fixed. Eventually, your dental structure retains its normal teeth placement.
Intense Teeth Cleaning
Persistent plaque on your teeth is also harmful as it provides conducive breeding grounds for bacteria. Therefore, intense teeth cleaning at the dentist’s office is among the best forms of preventative treatment.
Once the dentist removes the hard-formed plaque from all corners of your mouth, you are less prone to infections and other bacteria-friendly conditions. In return, you can worry less about having any developing conditions as long as you maintain proper oral hygiene.
Fluoride is an essential mineral and component in strengthening your teeth. Although it forms the main ingredient in most toothpaste brands, you may still be deficient, leading to the need for specific Fluoride treatment. At the dentist’s office, they will recommend specific foods rich in minerals on top of providing supplements and toothpaste to meet your needs. Following the instructions is therefore recommended for great chances in replenishing your body and strengthening your enamel.
How to Improve Your Dental Care
Having understood the various dental conditions that commonly affect patients and how to treat them, you will have more interest in improving your overall dental health. To do this, you will need to incorporate beneficial dental care habits into your everyday life for continued protection. Thus, the following are the recommended habits to undertake in pursuit of excellent oral care:
Avoid Smoking When Possible
Smoking is one of the most harmful habits for your teeth and gums, as they are exposed to toxins during the process. The tar component present in cigarettes is prone to forming residues around your teeth, exposing them to infections. Further, the tar will darken the enamel color, leading to persistent discoloration.
You should also note that the smoke’s high temperatures and chemical components can create gum problems, leading to tooth loss. Therefore, smoking is highly discouraged based on the multiple disadvantages it poses. Instead, you can seek alternative ways to consume nicotine if necessary or begin rehabilitation processes.
Stick to a Healthy Diet
The nutrients gained from a healthy diet also go a long way in strengthening your teeth and gums. Thus, sticking to a healthy diet is advisable, as you will notice a drastic improvement in your overall body health as well.
Moreover, your dentist will recommend you consume hard and crunchy foods like carrots once in a while to exercise your teeth and gums. Nevertheless, you should refrain from exposing yourself to tough foods to avoid cracking your enamel.
Brush Your Teeth at Least Twice a Day and Floss at Least Once
Cleaning your teeth should also be a priority every day, as it is the best way to eliminate disease-causing bacteria. Hence, you want to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once for the best oral health. When brushing, ensure you use circular or upward and downward brush movements for the most effective cleaning.
Additionally, you should use a soft-bristle brush to protect your enamel and gums from unnecessary wear and tear. Your dentist will also guide you on applying minimum pressure when brushing while still cleaning your teeth effectively.
Similarly, flossing your teeth requires you to remain careful and gentle with the thread to avoid injuring your gums. Failure to do so may expose the gums to bacteria and subsequent infections.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkup Appointments
Sometimes, you may assume your dental health is in check while infections are underway. This is common because patients are often unable to conduct a comprehensive dental check by themselves. As a result, detecting underlying conditions proves difficult and exposes you to more severe infections.
By scheduling regular dental check-ups, you give your dentist a chance to examine your oral cavity extensively and flag down any problems. On top of this, you will be more confident in your health because your dentist will have assured you of not finding any problems.
Avoid Chewing Ice
Persons prone to chewing ice expose themselves to multiple teeth problems for various reasons. For example, ice is typically hard against your teeth, meaning that you are likely to crack your enamel when chewing it. Further, the extremely cold temperature can trigger your nerves and expose you to recurring tooth sensitivity.
Due to this, you should avoid the habit, along with chewing any other hard items that could harm your enamel. In some cases, patients develop this habit because of tooth misalignment, which triggers you to grind your teeth and chew on random hard objects. If so, consulting your dentist for a more workable solution is advisable.
Clean Any Prescribed Dental Appliances Regularly
If your dentist has prescribed any dental appliances like braces, dentures, mouthguards for sleep apnea oral devices, you want to keep them clean and safe. The devices could harbor bacteria if not well cleaned, leading to possible infections, cavities, and tooth decay.
Furthermore, failure to keep the devices safe when not in use may cause them to break or get lost. In return, your oral treatment process is delayed or stopped and incurs additional costs.
Avoid Poking Your Teeth and Gums Using Sharp Objects
Using toothpicks and other sharp objects on your teeth does more harm than good, as you may cause severe injuries to your gums. Instead, you can floss your teeth or swirl some water to remove items stuck between your teeth. In doing this, you will protect yourself from gum injuries and avoid creating artificial teeth gaps by inserting the wide objects between the teeth.
Avoid Consuming Sugary Food and Drinks
While sugary foods and drinks are tempting to consume, you expose your teeth and gums to harmful bacteria every time you take the items. Nevertheless, it is understandable that avoiding food is difficult.
Therefore, you can choose to consume highly sugared foods and brush your teeth afterward. Alternatively, you can incorporate mouthwash use after your meal to reduce the chances of bacteria breeding from the high sugar levels in your mouth.
When opting for regular brushing and mouthwash use, you should remember that your teeth will become sensitive from the repeated exposure to powerful components in dental products. Due to this, the best option remains to avoid taking the sugary items altogether.
Wear Protective Mouth Gear During High-Impact Activities
Any injuries around your mouth may also pave the way for complications, later on, so you want to protect your teeth when participating in high-impact activities. The best way to do this is by wearing a mouthguard or any other special protective equipment.
By wearing the protective gear, you avoid dealing with cases like cracked or broken teeth, broken jaws, injury to the gums and inner cheeks, or exposing your dentine cavity to bacteria after teeth crack.
Replace Your Toothbrush Every Three Months
Lastly, you should remember to replace your toothbrush every three to four months to ensure you continue to uphold optimum cleaning habits. The recommended period between changing brushes helps you discard those with worn-out bristles, as they do not clean your teeth as well as they did before. Further, retaining an old toothbrush for too long is a health hazard because it may harbor too much bacteria in between the worn-out bristles.
Contact a Dentist Near Me
You need to regularly consult your dentist to ensure you take care of your teeth. Making two to three consultations per year will significantly help maintain your oral health. The dentist can identify emerging problems and issue guidelines for improving dental care routines. Subsequently, you want to find a trusted dentist who understands the importance of proper dental care administration. Further, they should be well experienced in handling emergency treatment on top of offering solutions to any other conditions. At Washington Dental, you will receive quality dental care if seeking services in Los Angeles, Carson, Torrance, and Lomita. Our highly skilled team is ready to provide support and medical assistance as required for the best overall health. Contact us today for more information on how to access dental care.