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October 15 2010

Dental Health and Periodontal Disease

The tooth is a marvelous biological construction , vital to the wellbeing of countless living things. Horses, lions, whales, and countless other mammals rely on their teeth and in fact ofttimes die when they lose the last of those teeth. Logically, therefore, teeth are  extremely  important to each person’s ultimate health and wellbeing. While it’s possible to get food that’s pre-ground, eating such a liquid diet isn’t very much fun. Dentures are also  common  , of course, but they require a great deal of care and can cause their own problems. The best way to go would be to keep your own teeth for the entire span of your life, if at all possible.

Each human tooth is elegantly designed to accomplish its specific purpose. We have incisors at the very front of our mouth to cut slice our food  . Pre-canines and canines sit on either side of the incisors to help grip the food as we’re biting it off. Molars in the back help to  pulverize  the food we eat so that we may digest it more efficiently. Each tooth is specifically created  to work best exactly where it is, but they all also  share an internal structure . They are covered by dental enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. Under the enamel lies dentin, a spongy, light, brittle substance that adds structure to the tooth while adding as little weight as possible. At the core of the tooth, surrounded by the enamel and dentin, lies the living pulp of the tooth that holds the blood vessel and the cells that help the tooth regenerate to a certain degree. Below the gumline, specialized cementum protects the bottom of the tooth and anchors it firmly into the jawbone.

Unfortunately , for all of the beauty of design our teeth display, they are subjected to a number of different diseases . Acid  that sits  too long in the mouth starts to eat away at the enamel coating the tooth and can eventually cause holes , also known as cavities. Infections that travel to the pulp or to the root of the tooth can cause painful collections of pus, also known as abscesses. If you don’t take care of your teeth for long enough  , cavities and abscesses can eventually give way to periodontal disease.  When periodontal disease sets in  , the jawbone itself has started to degrade and lets the teeth get far too loose. Each of these dental problems  can be avoided if you just develop a good dental hygiene habit and then stick to it throughout your life.

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Many people think that brushing and flossing are relatively easy things and that no more instruction in the matter is genuinely required. However, many people are also brushing and flossing wrong . If you brush with horizontal strokes back and forth across the face of the tooth, you can actually wear away at the base of the tooth and cause more problems than you solve . You should always use the softest brush you can find, and brush with gentle up and down motions on each tooth. You can use horizontal strokes on the grinding or cutting surface of each tooth, but never anywhere near the gumline. When you floss, you should work the floss lightly up to the very top of the tooth just under the gumline, but you should never saw the floss back and forth or be anything but very gentle with it.

If you just develop good dental hygiene habits at least twice a day , it will be one of the best investments of your time, money and attention you ever make. After all, toothpaste and floss are cheap compared to the pain and expense of a root canal . A toothbrush is far less trouble to take care of than dentures, and making time to brush your teeth is infinitely preferable to  losing all of them  . Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today, take care of your teeth the first time.