Dr. Kami Hoss explains how oral health care often gets pushed to the back burner in favor of more pressing, present health concerns. Perhaps it’s because people forget or because they really, truly dislike going to the dentist, but for whatever reason, many people tend to postpone trips to the dentist’s office until minor problems that could have been easily treated become exacerbated into full-blown medical emergencies. Take a look at a few of the most common dental problems people experience and see how you can do your part to help prevent them in your life.

Cavities & Tooth Decay

  • Easily the most common problem plaguing teeth are cavities, and they’re totally avoidable if you take great care of your smile. While some people are genetically predisposed to easily develop cavities, the way you live your life — like your diet, exercise, and hygiene habits — can have a dramatic influence on your overall oral health and help prevent cavities from forming. If it’s too late for preventative measures and a cavity has already developed, the best course of action is to visit your dentist and have them take the proper steps to ensure that the deterioration will not exacerbate.

Gingivitis & Periodontitis

  • These two diseases are essentially fancy ways of talking about bacterial infections in the gums, and periodontal diseases can range in severity anywhere from innocuous gum inflammation to infections that reach the bone and require the tooth to be pulled as a last resort. If you feel as though you’re beginning to experience some of the symptoms of periodontitis, visit your dentist right away. If caught in time, you can prevent these bacterial infections from causing any lasting damage to your health.

Cancer

  • When you think of cancer, oral cancer probably isn’t the first one that pops into your head. However, this year there will be more than 48,000 Americans who are diagnosed with oral cancer and over 9,500 people who die from it, at the approximate rate of 1 per hour, all day, every day. Of the 48,000 Americans diagnosed, within 5 years nearly half of them will be dead; oral cancer has one of the lowest rates of survival out of all cancers and this is especially due to it rarely being caught in its early stages. Make sure you have regular screenings, and if you’re a smoker or heavy drinker, it may be time to consider quitting for your health.

Stay tuned to this page to read more from Dr. Kami Hoss.