Why Oral Health is So Important

Oral health

Good oral hygiene starts at home. We’ve been told that time and time again. Gum health and general oral health depend on how you take care of your teeth and gums on a day to day basis. What kind of oral health products you use, if you are flossing and using mouth wash; all of these factors play in to what kind of condition your teeth and gums are in. Your dentist can only do so much, you have to make sure that you are taking care of things properly when you get home and not just on the day that you have your dentist appointment. If you do not properly take care of your oral health, then you will likely end up suffering from gum disease, tooth loss and many other problems that even the best oral health products will not be able to take care of anymore. Here are some other kinds of problems that can happen and how to fix them.

Teeth Grinding
This is quite a common problem for people. Teeth grinding usually happens in the night when the person is sleeping and they may not even realize they do it, unless someone tells them. However, there are a few symptoms that help to point out that teeth grinding may be happening. Those symptoms are as follows:

  1. Do you wake up with muscle pain in your face?
  2. Are you tight and stiff in the shoulders?
  3. Do you get frequent headaches, especially when you first wake up?
  4. Do you have restless sleep and wake frequently during the night?
  5. Is your jaw regularly sore and stiff?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then you may be grinding your teeth at night.

Treatment for Teeth Grinding
In order to treat teeth grinding, your dentist may prescribe a series of mouth exercises for you to do. Teeth grinding can be indicative of stress in your life so your dentist may also advise you to evaluate your life style and see if there is anywhere that you can pull back. If you do not stop grinding, you can ask your dentist for a mouth guard that you can wear in the night which will alleviate your teeth from hitting each other when you grind. The idea with a mouth guard is that eventually you will stop grinding your teeth all together.

Jaw Popping
You know if your jaw pops because you can physically hear it and if it’s bad enough you will feel it. Some people describe it as clicking and cracking as well as popping. It will happen when you open your mouth to a certain point or when you are chewing. It means there is some sort of problems with the joints or muscles in your jaw. Some other symptoms include:

  1. Headaches
  2. Earaches
  3. Changes in your bite
  4. Soreness in the jaw

Treatment for Jaw Popping
This is actually a disorder and can be treated as such. You can either start taking medications for the pain and swelling or a muscle relaxer to help your jaw not to be so tight. Your dentist may also suggest a night guard similar to teeth grinding so that your upper and lower teeth can’t touch. If your bite has changed and that is causing your jaw to pop then your dentist might suggest you get a crown, bridge or braces to rectify the position of your teeth.

Mouth Sores
Canker sores and cold sores are the most common types of mouth sores and often times can be treated with over the counter oral health products. Symptoms of a canker sore are:

  1. Especially painful
  2. Lasts at least five to 10 days
  3. Usually comes back if not treated with the proper oral health products
  4. Not associated with a fever or a cold

Symptoms of a cold sore are similar except that they are associated with a cold or the flu and they don’t tend to come back after being treated.

Treatment for Mouth Sores
At home remedies include rinsing with salt water or using a topical corticosteroid. Oral health products like triamcinolone dental paste work very well. Generally, there is nothing your dentist can do about then except to advise you to wait it out.

If you find yourself struggling with something like that, it’s always a good idea to talk to your dentist first and find out what the solution could be.

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