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Poor Dental Hygiene: Here's How Bad Teeth Affects Your Health

The most common dental ailment since time immemorial is tooth decay. If not treated before, it can lead to infection resulting in pain and discomfort.

Are your teeth healthy? Poor dental hygiene can affect the overall quality of life. Watch out for symptoms of bad teeth.

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : September 16, 2022 12:56 PM IST

Oral hygiene is one of the most important factors to consider in India. Maintaining a good oral health contributes to a healthy smile, teeth, and gums as well as improve overall quality of life. But poor dental hygiene can put you at risk for tooth decay, also known as a cavity or a rotten tooth.

The decay is caused by plaque, which is a sticky, colorless film that forms over the teeth. Plaque contains bacteria, and when it mixes with sugar in foods, it creates an acid that eats away at the tooth. If this is left untreated, a severely decayed tooth can become loose and eventually fall out.

Symptoms of bad teeth

Tooth decay, or a rotten tooth, is a permanently damaged area on the tooth's surface. If a cavity is not treated, it can become larger and gradually affect the deeper layers of the tooth. Other symptoms of a rotten tooth include:

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  • toothache
  • sensitivity to hot or cold food items
  • brown, black, or white spots on the tooth
  • bad breath
  • unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • swelling

A rotten tooth occurs across all ages and can be very painful.

Causes of tooth decay

There are several factors that lead to a rotten tooth. This includes poor dental hygiene, poor diet, dry mouth, dental crevices and fluoride deficiency. It can also be caused by malocclusion which is a bite that doesn't align properly from front to back. It's often characterized as having crooked teeth or a poor bite but can pose several health risks.

Some of the health risks of malocclusion, especially in children that would need to be addressed include:

  • Difficulty eating or speaking
  • Grinding teeth
  • Losing baby teeth too soon or too late
  • Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Jaw joint pain

For malocclusion, orthodontic treatment, like braces are used for treatment. But patients need to consult an orthodontist who specializes in alignment techniques to move the teeth safely and effectively.

In conclusion, a routine dental check-up helps with the prevention of a range of oral health concerns, including but not limited to periodontal disease, teeth decay, and teeth stains.

The article is written by Dr Chandan Kumar, MDS, Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Apollo Dental Clinics, Hyderabad.

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