Dental Care – The Importance of Good Oral Health and Wellness
Dental care is an important part of your overall health. It helps keep your mouth healthy and free from problems, so you can enjoy eating, talking and smiling. It also helps prevent disease and other medical problems that affect your oral and overall health, like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, arthritis and osteoporosis.
Preventive dentistry focuses on reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. This can be done through proper oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and regular visits to the dentist.
Sealants protect teeth from decay and are recommended for children as soon as their first molars appear, at age six, and again when they get their second molars, around age 12. A dentist might also recommend this treatment for adults who are prone to cavities or those who have certain dietary habits that increase their chances of developing them.
Fillings are another type of restorative dentistry. They replace a tooth’s damaged or infected pulp, which is located inside the hollow centre of the tooth. The pulp contains blood vessels and nerve fibres that supply oxygen, nutrients and feeling to the tooth. If decay reaches all the way through the tooth and into the pulp, it can cause severe pain and infection.
Root canal therapy is a common restorative dentistry procedure that replaces the pulp of a tooth that has been injured or damaged by decay. It can be very painful, so the dentist will often remove part of the tooth to create a space for the nerve and then fill it with a biocompatible material such as gutta-percha or a composite resin.
Crowns, on the other hand, are used to repair damaged or weakened teeth, especially when they have broken off or are too weak to support the structure of the tooth. They are made of a biocompatible material, usually a combination of a rubber-like substance called gutta-percha and adhesive cement.
Cosmetic dentistry, on the other hand, is for those who want to improve the appearance of their smile. These procedures might include whitening, veneers or other treatments that can be performed in the dentist’s office.
Oral health and wellness are linked to general and mental well-being, and can contribute to a person’s sense of self-esteem, confidence and self-image. This is because a healthy mouth gives you a beautiful, bright smile that enhances your appearance and helps you to enjoy a full range of foods and drinks.
The American Dental Association recognizes that oral health is an essential component of total health and that a person’s dental health should be a priority. Its mission is to provide the public with education and information on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the diseases that affect the oral and overall health.
Oral diseases disproportionately affect people of low socioeconomic status and can be caused by a variety of conditions. For example, HIV/AIDS, bone-weakening disease such as osteoporosis, and some medicines can cause oral problems. It’s important to let your dentist know about any medication you take or other medical conditions you have, so that they can treat you accordingly.