Teeth - the doorway to good health

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WORTH THE EFFORT: Your teeth are deserving of your good care and regular visits to your local dentist.

WORTH THE EFFORT: Your teeth are deserving of your good care and regular visits to your local dentist.

ORAL health is fundamental to overall good health, so it is worthwhile knowing how to look after your teeth and gums, and what to do when things go awry.

Good dental care includes brushing twice daily, flossing and regular dental check-ups.

Keeping a close eye on your teeth and gums, you will ward off problems like these, and know if and when it is time to visit the dentist.

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Losing your sense of taste 

While advancing age impairs the sense of taste, diseases, medications, and dentures can also contribute to this sensory loss.

Root decay

When the tooth roots become exposed as gum tissue recedes from the tooth, roots do not have any enamel to protect them and are more prone to decay than the crown part of the tooth.

Gum disease

Caused by plaque and made worse by food left in teeth, poor diets, and certain diseases, such as anaemia, cancer, and diabetes. 

Uneven jawbone

This is caused by tooth loss and then not replacing missing teeth. This allows the rest of the teeth to drift and shift into open spaces.

Thrush

Diseases or drugs that affect the immune system can trigger the overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans in the mouth.

Darkened teeth 

These are caused, to some extent, by changes thinning of the outer enamel layer which lets the darker dentin underneath show through.

Dry mouth

Dry mouth is caused by reduced saliva flow. Many medicines can cause dry mouth.

Bleeding gums

Ignoring it puts you at risk of developing a serious form of gum disease, according to the Australian Dental Association (ADA). Gum disease in its earlier forms is known as gingivitis and a more serious form, periodontitis, can develop when the early signs are ignored.

Signs your gums are in trouble include bad breath, visible tartar deposits, shifting or loose teeth, changes in bite structure, redness, swelling and tenderness, pus from the gums or the gums have pulled away from the teeth, exposing the roots.

The ADA recommends a consistent routine of brushing and flossing and regular visits to a dentist or hygienist for a professional clean to remove tartar from hard-to-reach areas that are susceptible to gum disease.

Speak with your local dentist to assist you with your dental health.