Oral care is something that should be given some attention no matter what your age is. The mouth is one of the most hardworking parts of our bodies, used for digestion, for appreciating the taste of food, for speaking, and for letting our emotions known especially through smiling.
Two of the major components of the mouth are the teeth and gums. Over the course of the day, a thin film coats our teeth, a film that is called plaque. Plaque can be easily removed by regular brushing and flossing, but if it sits too long on the teeth it can harden and form into tartar. This kind of deposit gets so hard and embeds itself on the teeth that it can only be removed with the help of a dentist.
Tartar can cause significant damage to the teeth. It could lead to chipping of a tooth or the formation of dental cavities. Dental cavities can be painful when the nerves get exposed, making drinking cold water or eating sweets give you pangs of pain. Plaque and tartar can likewise seep between the gaps in the teeth and can cause inflammation in the gums. This can get infected and the infection can lead to periodontal diseases that can, among others, cause teeth to loosen and fall out.
To avoid oral problems concerning the teeth and the gums, everyone should practice good oral care and hygiene. The teeth should ideally be brushed at least twice a day, or after every meal. Flossing also helps get rid of hard to reach plaque that lodges itself between the gaps of the teeth, and flossing should be done daily as well. Plaque, tooth decay and periodontal diseases can also cause bad breath and even severe bad breath called halitosis (usually coming from the gut), which can be remedied by gargling with specialist mouth wash.
Dental appointments should also be made regularly for checkups and dental cleaning. Many of the more serious dental conditions can also be prevented if detected early.
Oral cancer can also develop from a number of risk factors, but tobacco is one of the more serious risk factors. Chewing tobacco should especially be avoided, along with snuff, pipes, cigarette and cigars. People over 40 are especially at risk for the disease.
Sores and blisters can also appear around the mouth. This can be cause by a number of factors, including a strain of the herpes virus. Some can also be caused by a cracked lip which has been inflamed. Cold sores caused by herpes can be easily treated using topical medications while inflamed lips should be remedied by keeping the skin hydrated with the help of a lip balm or some petroleum jelly until it heals.