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Friday, March 9, 2012

10 Jaw Dropping Oral Issues


Not everyone has the perfect pearly white smile—but that’s okay, because small abnormalities in one’s dental structure are not a rare occurrence. Although dental hygiene is important, many people can get away with skipping floss after dinner once in a while, as long as their habits are usually consistent. However, the range and severity of dental abnormalities can vary widely. If you have one of these dental conditions, you’re probably in the majority of the population. But if you have too many, or all ten, it would be a good idea to see your dentist soon!
Enamel Hypoplasia
If you have pits, grooves, or strange discoloration no matter how much whitening toothpaste you use, it may be a sign of enamel hypoplasia. This issue is caused when the body does not produce sufficient amounts of enamel to cover for the teeth. This results in the teeth being oddly colored, as enamel does not cover all areas, and it can also be responsible for physical inconsistencies in teeth.
This issue can generally be treated with bonding, or in more extreme cases, it can be fixed with crowns, onlays, or veneers.
Dental Fluorosis
Dental fluorosis is a condition caused by excessive exposure of fluoride to the teeth. This can occur by drinking water with unusually high fluoride content levels over a long period of time. This is not an uncommon occurrence.
The result of dental fluorosis is a marbleizing of the teeth; a deep yellow to gray discoloration. This is purely an issue of aesthetics, as fluorosis does not damage teeth; it just gives them an unattractive appearance. Cosmetic whitening and veneers can solve this problem easily.
Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is marked by pain or discomfort in the teeth, usually noticed when eating cold or hot foods, being exposed to cold air or upon having the tooth touched.
Tooth sensitivity can be the result of a number of factors including cavities, gum disease, and even the extended use of some teeth-whitening products. A dentist can generally diagnose and cure the issue with few difficulties.
Halitosis
Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. The majority of chronic bad breath cases can be traced back to issues with the teeth. Poor oral hygiene, cavities, missing or rotting teeth, and gum disease are leasing causes of halitosis.
A dentist can typically determine the source of the halitosis and take steps to clear it up.
Tooth Erosion
Tooth erosion occurs when the enamel of a tooth is worn away by excessive acids. The acids can come from a variety of sources, which include pure fruit juices, soft drinks, and a variety of intestinal disorders that result in the teeth coming in contact with stomach acids.
Tooth erosion is very common in those with poor dietary habits. Dentists can generally correct tooth erosion, but the earlier it is caught, the less complex the procedures will be.
Periodontitis
Periodontitis is the most advanced stage of gum disease. This is a very serious issue, as gum disease has been related to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Generally, periodontitis is caused by poor oral hygiene. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can become more seriously, potentially graduating to a diagnosis of periodontitis. This disease can cause teeth to loosen, and eventually fall out.
There is no cure for periodontitis, so proper oral hygiene as a preventive is the best safeguard against the disease.
Decay
Decay is one of the most common of tooth ailments. It is the process of the tooth’s structure being destroyed by the proliferation of plaque, which also comes from a wide variety of causes. A diet high in sugar and poor oral hygiene are common causes of tooth decay.
Tooth decay is treatable by a dentist, but the specific course of action is determined by the level of decay. If the decay reaches the pulp of the tooth, a root canal may be necessary.
Physical Trauma
Teeth can be greatly damaged by direct force. Getting hit in the mouth with a baseball or a baseball bat, for instance, can lead to teeth that become loose, and if left unattended, the teeth may rot and eventually fall out. After taking any blunt force to a tooth, it is important to consult with a dentist, especially because much of the damage may be unseen.
Genetics
Genetic makeup can be a major factor in various tooth problems. For instance, the presence of Down syndrome lends itself to many issues with teeth. Microdontia (teeth smaller than usual) and macrodontia (teeth larger than usual) can both be genetic traits.
Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is more than a cosmetic dental issue—it is a serious disease that not only affects the look of one’s teeth, but also may eventually lead to death. It is estimated that over 34,000 Americans contract oral cancer every year, 25% of whom will die from the disease.
If caught early, oral cancer is treatable, so it is imperative that one makes regular visits to the dentist and requests an oral cancer screening. Not all causes are known, although smoking and poor hygiene may be contributors.

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