Basic Knowledge of Oral Cavity, Identifying and Avoiding Oral Diseases

Whenever I drink sugary drinks for some reason my mouth feels sour and I hate this sensation, there must be something wrong with my mouth. I am not taking my oral health seriously, so it’s not surprising for me to have very bad teeth and my mouth is gross.

Only lately I've been very aware about how important it is to keep my oral health. Now I never miss a single day without bruising my teeth at least twice a day, floss my teeth, and rinse using mouthwash.

I read a lot of stuff about oral hygiene, human teeth anatomy, bacteria inside our mouth, acids, and many other related articles in this subject. It’s not important for my profession right now, but maybe I need it in the future. Knowledge is always useful maybe not for today but later on.

The study of oral cavity especially for human oral cavity is called Dentistry, also known as dental medicine and oral medicine. It is concerned with the prevention and treatment of oral disease, including diseases of the teeth and supporting structures and diseases of the soft tissues of the mouth.

A. Human teeth

A normal adult mouth usually has 32 teeth, those are called:
  1. Incisors (8 total): The middlemost four teeth on the upper and lower jaws.
  2. Canines (4 total): The pointed teeth just outside the incisors.
  3. Premolars (8 total): Teeth between the canines and molars.
  4. Molars (8 total): Flat teeth in the rear of the mouth, best at grinding food.
  5. Wisdom teeth or third molars (4 total): These teeth erupt at around age 18, but are often surgically removed to prevent displacement of other teeth.

Human tooth structure
Human tooth structure

  1. Enamel: The hardest, white outer part of the tooth. Enamel is mostly made of calcium phosphate, a rock-hard mineral.
  2. Dentin: A layer underlying the enamel. It is a hard tissue that contains microscopic tubes. When the enamel is damaged, heat or cold can enter the tooth through these paths and cause sensitivity or pain.
  3. Pulp: The softer, living inner structure of teeth. Blood vessels and nerves run through the pulp of the teeth.
  4. Cementum: A layer of connective tissue that binds the roots of the teeth firmly to the gums and jawbone.
  5. Periodontal ligament: Tissue that helps hold the teeth tightly against the jaw.

Human teeth common problems

1. Bad Breath
Bad breath can be very embarrassing to our social life. According to some studies, about 85 percent of people with bad breath is because their oral hygiene is bad.

2. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay or cavities is very common to happen in adults. It is caused by a plaque, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combined with the suga of the food and drinks you consume. This combination then becomes an acid that attacks tooth enamel and erodes it.

3. Gum (Periodontal) Disease
Gum disease, also called as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums surrounding the teeth. It is also one of the main causes of tooth loss among adults.

4. Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a serious and deadly disease that affects millions of people. It is most often seen in people over the age of 40. And can be prevented if prevented early.

5. Mouth Sores
Mouth sore can be bothersome. It is usually nothing to worry about and will disappear on its own,  unless a mouth sore lasts more than two weeks

6. Tooth Erosion
Tooth erosion is the loss of tooth structure and is caused by acid attacking the enamel. Tooth erosion signs and symptoms can range from sensitivity to more severe problems such as cracking.

7. Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity  basically involves experiencing pain or discomfort to your teeth from sweets, cold air, hot drinks, cold drinks or ice cream.

8. Toothaches and Dental Emergencies
While many toothaches and dental emergencies can be easily avoided just by regular visits to the dentist, accidents can and do happen. Having a dental emergency can be very painful and scary.

9. Unattractive Smile
While an unattractive smile is not technically a "dental problem," it is a major reason why many patients seek dental treatment.

Oral hygiene and oral care

It is important after consuming sugary foods and beverages to take necessary actions to protect our teeth. Only eat sugary and acidic foods and drinks in moderation, rinsing with water afterwards, floss and brush your teeth.

There is some advice by dentists to not brush immediately after eating, but to instead rinse your mouth out well with water, and wait about 20-30 minutes before brushing. This lets your saliva help to remineralize your teeth first so there isn't more damage done to the teeth. Also it helps clear out gunky or gritty stuff from the teeth.

Demineralization, or tooth erosion happens when our enamel begins when our mouth has a pH above 5. The process of demineralization can lead our teeth to develop white spots or cavities.

Our saliva can protect and repair our tooth enamel, not only helps wash food away from sticking to your teeth, but it also helps wash out acids that will break our teeth. Saliva consists of many minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, and fluoride ions which all help boost enamel remineralization.

Tooth remineralisation is the natural repair process for non-cavitated tooth lesions, in which calcium, phosphate and sometimes fluoride ions are deposited into crystal voids in demineralised enamel. Remineralisation can contribute towards restoring strength and function within tooth structure.

Summary of oral hygiene:
  1. Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth
  2. Brush your teeth properly
  3. Don’t neglect your tongue, rinse with mouthwash
  4. Use a fluoride toothpaste
  5. Treat flossing as important as brushing
  6. Drink more water
  7. Limit sugary and acidic foods
  8. See your dentist at least twice a year

If you are too late even though there’s no such thing as too late, if your teeth are already broken because you didn’t take care of it seriously. There's an expensive solution, you can have a dental implant surgery that replaces your rotten tooth with a new one permanently.

The conclusion is always take care of your hygiene, whether it is oral or overall body hygiene.


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