You rely on your teeth and gums for so much during your daily life, including smiling, speaking, and chewing. Sadly, oral health problems in Lakeway that put your mouth at risk are all too common; over 40% of adults experienced some sort of oral pain last year, and 80% of the population will have at least one cavity before the age of 34. There are all kinds of oral conditions, but the 3 listed below are particularly common problems that you should be aware of.
1. Tooth Decay
When you consume sugar and carbohydrates, some bits of food are left behind on your teeth and gums. Oral bacteria consume these food particles and convert them into acids that can break down the layer of enamel protecting the soft inner tissues of your teeth. This is what leads to cavities. Despite the fact that tooth decay is quite often preventable, cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases, with 90% of adults having suffered from them. While public water fluoridation and the widespread use of dental sealants have gone a long way towards fighting tooth decay, you still need to practice excellent oral hygiene if you want to keep your teeth intact for years to come.
2. Gum Disease
Gum disease refers to the infections or inflammation of the soft tissue surrounding your teeth. Over time, such infections can even reach the underlying jawbone and destroy the tissues holding your teeth in place, leaving you with unattractive and inconvenient gaps in your grin. Anyone can suffer from gum disease, but it’s particularly common among those who don’t brush and floss regularly as well as tobacco users and people with diabetes. It’s easier to treat gum disease in its early stages, but you may not notice any symptoms until the more advanced stages of the disease, so you’ll need a dentist to regularly check for warning signs.
3. Oral Cancer
The 5-year survival rate for oral cancer is about 61%, with the prognosis being significantly better for those who have it diagnosed and treated early on. Tobacco and alcohol are both considered major risk factors for this type of cancer, but virtually everyone is at risk for developing it in some form or another. Today, when you visit a family dentist in Lakeway, you’ll receive an oral cancer screening as part of your regular checkup.
Even with the right oral hygiene habits, you could still be at risk for any of the above conditions. Fortunately, as long as you’re visiting your dentist at least twice a year, the odds are pretty good that you’ll get the care you need long before your teeth and gums are at serious risk.
About the Author
Dr. Winston Eaddy is proud to work alongside his son, Dr. Daniel Eaddy, at their Austin practice, Eaddy Dentistry. He completed his residency at the Boston University School of Graduate Dentistry in 1974. He practiced specialty periodontics for 21 years, but today he treats cavities and gum disease alike as a family dentist. To schedule your next checkup, visit his website or call (512) 263-4252.