Everything You Should Know About Your Oral Health

Everything You Should Know About Your Oral Health
Smiles On Hickman

Smiles On Hickman


Good oral health is important for your overall health and wellness. Poor dental health can cause bad breath, cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and more. These dental problems can further lead to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. 

If you practice good and healthy dental habits such as flossing, brushing, limiting your sugar intake, and visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups, it will be easier for you to improve and maintain your dental and oral health

Types of Dental and Oral Diseases

You may develop dental and oral problems if you do not take good care of your oral health. Types of dental and oral problems include:

  • Gum disease
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Cavities or tooth decay
  • Periodontitis 
  • Oral cancer 
  • Sensitive teeth

Causes of Dental and Oral Diseases

Here are the common factors that contribute to dental and oral diseases.

  • Poor brushing and flossing habits
  • Smoking 
  • Foods and beverages that are high in sugar
  • Using medications that reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth
  • Diabetes
  • Certain infections 
  • Genetics or family history 
  • Heartburn or acid reflux
  • Hormonal changes
  • Frequent vomiting 

Symptoms of Dental and Oral Diseases

Visit your dentist as soon as possible if you experience any of the following warning signs or symptoms:

  • Sensitivity to cold and hot foods or beverages
  • Toothache 
  • Receding gums
  • Sores, ulcers or tender areas in the mouth that persist 
  • Chronic bad breath 
  • Swollen or bleeding gums after brushing or flossing 
  • Frequent dry mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Experiencing pain when biting or chewing
  • Swelling of the cheek and face
  • Clicking of the jaw

Regular dental visits will help to diagnose problems before you develop any symptoms or they become worse.

How to Diagnose Dental and Oral Diseases

Your dentist will diagnose most of the dental and oral problems during a dental examination. They will closely and thoroughly inspect your:

  • Teeth 
  • Mouth
  • Jaw
  • Cheeks
  • Throat 
  • Neck
  • Tongue 

Your dentist will use various instruments to diagnose your problems and take dental X-rays if required. 

Inspecting for Gum Diseases

They will use a probe to measure your gum pockets. The depth of your pockets can help your dentist to identify whether you have gum disease or receding gums. Your diagnosis for gum disease is confirmed if the depth of your pocket is higher than 3 millimeters.

Your dentist may perform a gum biopsy if they find any abnormal growths, lesions, or lumps in your mouth.

They may perform the following tests if oral cancer is suspected:

  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • Endoscopy

Treating Dental and Oral Problems 

Your dentist can help you fight off dental problems effectively. Dental and oral problems can be cured by:

  • Healthy oral habits 
  • Professional dental cleanings
  • Fluoride treatments
  • Antibiotic medications 
  • Fillings, crowns, and sealants
  • Probiotics 
  • Root canal

Surgery is recommended if you have a serious dental problem that cannot be treated with the above procedures. 

The Bottom Line about Dental and Oral Health

Poor oral and dental health can cause problems with your speech, nutrition, or self-esteem. Also, they can impact your quality of life and comfort. Many oral and dental problems can develop without any symptoms; therefore, visiting your dentist regularly for a dental checkup will diagnose problems sooner.

Of course, you cannot prevent dental problems, but you can lower your risk by following good dental hygiene.

Want to improve and maintain your oral health? Schedule an appointment with us!

Smiles On Hickman

Smiles On Hickman

Smiles on Hickman is a family dental practice located in Des Moines, IA. We are committed to providing the best, personalized dental care solutions to patients and their families. Our well-trained and experienced team of dentist in Des Moines,IA ensures that our patients feel comfortable during their visit with us. We use advanced dental techniques that enable us to provide quality care in the fields of cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, sedation dentistry, oral surgery, and more. We strive to form long-lasting bonds with all our patients and offer them a lifetime of healthy smiles.