DISEASES OF TEETH AND GUMS

Tooth decay—which your dentist calls dental caries—is the most common disease in the country. It is the chief cause of cavities, toothache, pulp and root abscesses, and extractions.

Another important dental disease, which involves the gums and tooth sockets, is called pyorrhoea. If untreated, this disease causes loosening of the teeth to the point where they fall out or need to be extracted.

Other dental troubles are the result of impacted teeth, accidents, and poor alignment of teeth. When teeth are not correctly aligned, the bite does not work properly, and our chewing is inadequate or difficult or the teeth overlap and stick out in an unattractive manner. A dentist specializing in orthodontics can correct this condition.

At one time, people used to have a tooth extracted as soon as it started to ache, or even before. Dentists now try to save every tooth they can. Dentures involve time, trouble, and expense. They seldom do as good a job of chewing as one’s own teeth, and the proper chewing of food is of great value to digestion. However, modern dentures are remarkable, and many of my patients who have artificial teeth tell me that they look and feel much better than they expected.

An alternative to dentures is the reconstruction of teeth. A specialist in this field of dentistry can grind your teeth and cap them with natural-looking materials. This process can involve a few teeth or the entire mouth. The effect of reconstruction is that the combination of your teeth and the caps becomes permanent. In the process, the dental specialist may also adjust the alignment of your teeth.

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