But a lack of oral cleanliness and regular care can also lead to a wide variety of less common and lesser known conditions. We will explore a number of these below to illustrate the dangers of neglecting regular brushing and flossing and regular dental and periodontal check-ups.
Mouth sores are one of the major problems that poor oral hygiene can lead to. They may not be as common as gum disease or cavities, but they are "common enough" and if you ever get one, you'll find they can be very painful and sometimes persistent.
In some cases, a mouth sore may be a sign of a more serious disease. And if a sore doesn't correct itself with 10 days or so, you should seek periodontal care.
Canker sores are the most common type of mouth sore that occurs inside the mouth (cold sores occur only outside the mouth on the lips or face.) Canker sores may be white and/or yellow with a red ring around them. They often occur on the inner cheeks and lips, along the gum line, or in the throat.
Canker sores are not contagious, but they are painful and annoying. Some go away quickly on their own and may be the result of eating spicy food or of failing to brush/floss regularly. Others are more serious, however, so get help with any cankers that simply "won't go away."
In some cases, for example, sores on gums and cold sore outbreaks may result from oral herpes, which tends to especially affect children. In other cases, mouth sores might be a sign of oral cancer developing. Usually, sores are not cancerous, but you might want the expert opinion of your periodontist if a sore persists.
Three More Less Common "Mouth Problems"
There are many problems that can be caused, at least in part, by poor oral health. We've looked at mouth sores. But here are three more of the "more common among the less common" mouth conditions:
1. TMJ Disorder
It's certainly not healthy to continually grind your teeth or to leave misaligned teeth uncorrected. But these issues and more can lead to the weakening of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which then leads to muscle soreness when chewing or speaking.
2. Oral Thrush
"Candidiasis," more commonly called "oral thrush," is a fungal infection in the throat and/or mouth due to a "yeast outbreak." It can lead to white spots in the mouth and on the tongue, a very sore throat, and a difficulty in swallowing. Typically, oral thrush occurs in youths, the elderly, or in anyone with a weak immune system.
3. Burning Mouth Syndrome
A variety of causes can contribute to "BMS," including dry mouth, poor nutrition, and oral fungal infections. The tongue and other parts of the mouth will feel "tingly" or even as if "burning." Your mouth may also feel very dry or sore. The symptoms may come only sporadically, but they can last for years on end if not addressed.
Learning to identify both the common and less common conditions that poor oral health can contribute to is a big motivation for taking good care of your mouth. To learn more about proper oral health, contact Dr. Kenzik in Ormond Beach, FL, today!