17 Oral Health & Mouth Problems

If
we neglect our oral hygiene, it can create multiple alarming conditions
and infections within your mouth, of which bad breath, oral cancer, TMJ
and canker sores are only a few to name. Some of these conditions are
harmless and painless, while others cause excruciating pain and
discomfort.

In this article, we will walk you through some of the most common ailments that occur in your mouth.

Here’s everything you need to know:

1. Cold Sores

Cold sores, commonly known as fever blisters, are not caused by colds or fevers, but in fact, they can be induced by them.

Cold
sores are typically caused when a virus is exchanged by sharing
utensils, maintain close contact and kissing. It can be healed by
over-the-counter ointments and topical medication, which will alleviate
the pain. If the sores are persistent, you should consult a dentist for
an examination.

2. Bad Breath

When we forget to
brush our teeth, food particles surround our teeth and encourage the
growth of bacteria, along with creating bad breath. If you are
consistently suffering from bad breathe or have an awful taste in your
mouth, the reason could be persistently breathing from your mouth, tooth
decay, or a dry mouth.

Bad breathe can also be regarded as a
symptom of gum disease, or even chronic ailments, such as diabetes. You
can eliminate bad breathe by regularly brushing your teeth and tongue,
adopting a flossing regime, and using an antiseptic mouthwash. Be sure
to obtain clean drinking waters and all food items that trigger bad
breath. If it continues to persist, consult a dentist.

3. Thrush

A
thrush, triggered by candida yeast, typically occurs amongst babies or
older adults. Candida yeast can be worsened by consuming antibiotics and
certain medications, including inhaled corticosteroids, while a weak
immune system, and diabetes can also worsen the condition.

If you
wipe away the patches of thrust, it will lead to severe soreness. It is
highly advisable to consult a dentist immediately.

4. Lichen Planus

Lichen
planus can be described as a lacy and distinctive rash, which can
either feature white patches, or glossy red bumps that typically emerge
inside the tongue or even the cheeks. It can also occur within your
skin, nails, genitals and scalp. Medical research has yet to discover
the exact cause, however, research reveals that mild cases of lichen
planus does not require treatment or medication.

However, it is
aching or triggering the formation of ulcers, you can treat it with
topical and oral medicines. It is important to note that oral lichen
planus has tendencies to become chronic, and can even put you at risk
for oral cancers.

5. Canker Sores

The exact cause behind
the tiny and agonizing blisters that occur within the mouth is unknown,
but they are commonly induced by infections, stress, hormonal imbalances
and hypersensitivity, along with a deficiency of certain vitamins.

Canker
sores, medically termed as aphthous ulcers, can emerge on the gums,
cheeks and even the tongue, and they tend to last for around a week or
two. You can use dental lasers, prescribed medicines and pain numbing
creams to treat them.

6. Chipped Teeth

Excessive
teeth clenching or grinding, eating too many hard candies, snacking on
ice, and exposure to excessive heat and cold can cause breakages, cracks
and chips to emerge in your teeth. Now, tiny cracks and chips are not a
cause for much concern.

However, a bigger crack can cause
excessive pain, and even lead to permanent tooth damage. A dentist can
help you explore several options, such as tooth contouring, dental
bonding, porcelain veneers, and crowns to firm up heavily impaired
teeth.

7. Periodontitis

Periodontitis is the
secondary stage of gum infection or gum disease. It triggers an increase
in inflammation, causing your gums to lessen, and creating pockets
between your gums and teeth. These pockets get filled up with plaque,
food particles and tartar, which gradually builds up infections and
abscesses.

As it reaches an advanced stage, a gum infection can
pose serious damages to the bone that holds the teeth, and it happens to
be one of the greatest causes of tooth loss amongst adults. If your
gums are receding, it is highly advisable to consult a dentist
immediately.

8. Aspirin Burn

Most people
believe that an aspirin can aid in curing a toothache, however, the
awful truth is that allowing your cheek to be exposed to an aspirin can
result in a painful burn. Instead of alleviating your toothache, the
acid content in aspirin will burn a white and scratchy lesion into your
cheeks or gums.

You can prevent this by swallowing the aspirin
instead of swashing it around in your mouth. And if you end up suffering
an aspirin burn, the only thing that can heal it is time, around two
weeks to be exact.

9. Geographic Tongue

Often,
when some patches of the tongue lose their tiny bumps, it creates a
disarranged appearance of raised and lowered spots, creating a map-like
structure on your tongue. These spots can alter their patterns, sizes
and location within hours, and in some cases, minutes.

However, it
is important to know that a map-like tongue is a harmless condition and
will disappear or reappear on its own. It doesn’t typically require a
treatment, but if you are experiencing pain, you can choose some
over-the-counter pain killers or anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the
pain.

10. Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome

The
temporomandibular joint syndrome, more commonly known as TMJ, is a
jaw-related condition that can trigger severe pain in your jaw, neck,
ear or face. The TMJ syndrome can be caused by excessive tooth grinding,
mouth clenching and injuries, amongst other causes.

However, its
symptoms typically remain the same, including severe pain, swallowing
troubles, headaches, and dizziness. Dentists commonly recommend a mouth
guard, moist heat exposure, rest and medication, however, in certain
cases, a surgery can be recommended as well. 

11. Black Hairy Tongue

A
painless oral problem that develops when the small bumps on the tongue
grow to become longer. These longer bumps entrap bacteria living within
your mouth, causing the tongue to become hairy and black. This condition
is triggered by multiple common causes, including lack of proper dental
hygiene, excessive smoking, using antibiotics, consuming excessive
amounts of coffee or tea, and not generating sufficient amounts of
saliva.

This condition can be effectively treated by rigorously
brushing your tongue with a tongue scraper, however, dentists also
prescribe some medicines to eliminate the bacteria.

12. Cavities, Abscesses & Discoloration

If
you want to prevent common dental problems, like tooth discoloration,
abscesses, and cavities from occurring, you must create a regular and
vigilant brushing and flossing regime, alongside regular dental
examinations. If you have a painful toothache, don’t neglect it for too
long.

You see, dental infections can spread the bacteria to your
face, the skull and even within your bloodstream. Be sure to consult a
dentist without wasting any time if your tooth is aching persistently,
and you are suffering earaches, fever, or if your mouth aches while
opening it widely.

13. Amalgam Tattoo

Have you
ever seen a tiny bluish-gray stain tucked away in a soft corner of your
mouth after a regular dental checkup? This stain is known as amalgam
tattoos, and these tattoos occur when a small piece of amalgam filling
gets stuck inside your gum or cheek.

The silver present in the
amalgam gets embedded within the soft tissues of your mouth, creating a
tiny tattoo-like stain. These stains are harmless, however, if the color
is any other than blue-gray, it is highly likely that your stain is not
an amalgam tattoo and you should consult your dentist immediately.

14. Gum Disease

When
the bacteria present in plaque builds up on the gum line, it leads to
the development of periodontal gum disease. The earliest stage of a gum
disease is known as gingivitis, and its symptoms include puffy, reddened
and bleeding gums.

You can take preventive measures against the
periodontal disease by adopting a strict oral hygiene. However, it can
be worsened by excessive smoking, stress hormones and an unhealthy diet.

15. Leukoplakia

Leukoplakia
can be considered a reaction to multiple irritants, including excessive
smoking, ill-fitted dentures, coarse teeth, and smokeless tobacco. It
is identified as a buildup plaques, or the emergence of white patches
across your mouth.

The condition is typically devoid of pain,
however, it can ignite the risk factors of cancer. If the white patches
do not go away, alongside other symptoms, be sure to consult a dentist
right away.

16. Lie Bumps

Folklore and fables
reveal that when we tell a lie, it creates a tiny bump on the tongue,
which are popularly known as lie bumps. However, medical science reveals
that transient lingual papillitis can commonly occur, regardless of
whether you lie or speak the truth. Even though these tiny bumps are
harmless and they disappear on their own in a short amount of time, they
cause a lot of discomfort.

Medical researchers have not be able
to pin down the exact cause behind these small bumps, however,
speculations state that they may be triggered by a food reaction or a
minor trauma, even biting the tongue. They do not require any treatment,
however, taking oral anesthetics will help alleviate the pain.

17. Oral Cancer

If
you are suffering from a terrible mouth sore that just doesn’t seem to
be cured, you have reason to worry about your oral health. The symptoms
of oral cancer typically include swallowing problems, speaking
disturbances, chewing problems, and indescribable numbness in your
mouth, face or neck.

The most common causes of oral cancer are
popularly identified as excessively smoking cigarettes, heavy
consumption of alcohol, chewing tobacco or using smokeless tobacco
products, excessive exposure to the sun, and a family history of
cancers.

Research has discovered an association between oral
cancer and the human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV. If you are
experiencing any of these symptoms, be sure to consult a doctor
immediately as identifying oral cancer in its earliest stages allows a
successful treatment.

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