The oral cavity, including the roof of the mouth, tongue and cheeks, is home to a wide array of bacteria that live in harmony with each other.
Unfortunately, improper oral hygiene practices such as using a toothbrush without cleaning thoroughly or not brushing your teeth after every meal can also make your mouth more susceptible. That’s why it’s important to ensure you maintain good dental hygiene habits and talk to your dentist about any concerns you might have. Also known as cavities, dental caries occur when tooth enamel is eroded by acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. Dental caries is the primary cause of tooth pain and can lead to infection of the roots of teeth (the periodontal ligament) that hold teeth in place in your jawbone.
Oral bacteria can exacerbate periodontal disease, which occurs when gums become inflamed and recede from the teeth, leading to pockets between your gums and the base of the teeth.
This makes it easier for bacteria to get trapped underneath gum tissue and grow on the root surfaces or beneath fillings or crowns on your teeth.
Pulpitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the tissues of your mouth and throat that can lead to tooth loss and other conditions such as infection, bone loss, and even meningitis or peritonitis. Its cause is unclear, but some studies point to an imbalance in oral bacteria that causes inflammatory symptoms. Gingivitis is an early stage chronic gum disease which can be painful, but it mostly affects adults age 40 years and older. It’s common in people who aren’t careful about flossing their teeth or rinsing with mouthwash after eating or drinking, which allows plaque and bacteria to build up between teeth.
The common causes are medical conditions that hinder normal dental development such as cleft palate and oral facial anomalies, genetic conditions like Down syndrome or abnormalities in the jawbone, such as a fractured jaw or impacted wisdom teeth.
Oral cancer is a severe form of mouth cancer that begins when cells in your mouth change and grow uncontrollably instead of dying as they should. It can be caused by a number of factors, including smoking and drinking, but certain types of oral cancer are linked to sexually transmitted diseases, such as HPV.
It can cause pain in the face and head, swelling in your cheeks and neck, or numbness in the gums around the infected tooth.
Fortunately, many of these oral diseases are easily treatable with the right dental care and support. Your dentist can help you maintain good oral health.