What is dental health?

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Dental Health is a general term that refers to the overall health status of your mouth.

In an oral examination the teeth are examined for areas of decay, wear and fracture, defective fillings, crowns and other restorations, mobility, discoloration, missing teeth and occlusion. Oral hygiene and plague accumulation are also evaluated. The gums are examined and evaluated for signs of gum disease including mobility, bleeding, deep areas below the margin of the gum, pus and quality of the gum tissue.

The overall oral mucosa is examined for sores, growths, lumps, irregularities and changes in color.

When everything is within normal limits, the patient is in excellent dental health. When there are problems, dental health is less than perfect and treatment may be indicated.
Dental health is another way of saying oral health or the health of your mouth. The mouth is a window into the health of your body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Systemic diseases, those that affect the entire body, may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems.

Dental health is important. Most Americans today enjoy excellent oral health and are keeping their natural teeth throughout their lives; however, cavities remain the most prevalent chronic disease of childhood. Some 100 million Americans fail to see a dentist each year, even though regular dental examinations and good oral hygiene can prevent most dental disease. Many people believe that they need to see a dentist only if they are in pain or think something is wrong, but regular dental visits can contribute to a lifetime of good oral health. If you are experiencing dental pain, don't put off seeing a dentist. With dentistry's many advances, diagnosis and treatment are more sophisticated and comfortable than ever.

You can practice good oral hygiene by always brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between your teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner, replacing your toothbrush every three or four months and by eating a balanced diet and limiting between-meal snacks. Don't forget to schedule regular dental check-ups to keep your smile, and yourself, healthy.

Continue Learning about Oral Health

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.