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What causes oral health problems?

Dr. Anita Gupta
Anesthesiology

Oral health problems are mainly caused by inadequate brushing and flossing techniques. The mouth contains a great deal of bacteria that are generally harmless, but can cause oral infections, like tooth decay and gum disease, without proper oral hygiene. Diet is also very important for oral health. Without receiving the necessary nutrients, the mouth is more vulnerable to infection. Avoiding smoking and excess alcohol intake will also reduce the risk for oral health problems. 

Oral health problems are caused primarily by not brushing twice daily and flossing once daily. Maintaining a healthy diet is also important. If your diet lacks certain nutrients, it may be more difficult for tissues in your mouth to resist infection. Visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur while they are easy to treat.
Most medical and dental experts agree that the primary cause of oral health problems is inadequate dental care. Regular brushing and flossing help prevent oral health problems by clearing out bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease.

At the same time, inheriting certain genes from your parents may increase your risk for serious oral health conditions, such as some forms of mouth cancer. And there are clues that parents may pass along genes to their children that raise the risk for more common problems, such as tooth cavities and gum disease, but these connections are far from proven.

Besides regular brushing and flossing, experts know that common sense habits such as avoiding tobacco, excess alcohol, and sun exposure also help minimize the chances of mouth cancer, as well as keeping your body healthy.

Brushing, flossing, and regular care from a dentist help to minimize bad bacteria in the mouth and prevent most oral health problems. However, if these bacteria grow too quickly they can cause periodontitis. This serious infection of the gums can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream, where it can cause many other health issues. Bacteria can also enter the bloodstream through the gums after major dental procedures. There are early warning signs of periodontitis and its predecessor, gingivitis, which your dentist will be able to recognize. Therefore, regular dental care helps prevent and recognize oral health problems before they become serious.

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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.