Gum Care and Disease prevention in Hyannis MA

Overview

The oral cavity is the intermediary through which the body obtains and processes food. Numerous oral tissues come together to support these vital functions. These oral tissues include muscles of mastication (chewing) and deglutition (swallowing) such as the tongue, oral mucosa, teeth and periodontal tissues; salivary glands and their secretions; and taste and smell receptors. As a result, problems that occur in the oral cavity can affect the ability and desire to bite, chew, and swallow foods. For example, soft-tissue diseases and conditions can make it difficult and painful to masticate and swallow. Correspondingly, dental caries or missing teeth can make it difficult to bite and chew. Compromised oral function has been linked to decreased self-esteem and a decline in the quality of life. Adults with missing teeth or loose dentures may avoid certain social activities because they are embarrassed to speak, smile, or eat in front of others. Both systemic health and quality of life are compromised when oral conditions affect eating and food choices.


Common Dental Diseases

The three most common problems in the oral cavity are dental caries and the periodontal diseases gingivitis and periodontitis. All of these diseases have multi-factorial etiologies, and extensive research centered on dental plaque, dietary factors, oral hygiene, genetic, and environmental and behavioral factors. The oral environment contains diverse communities of micro-organisms including bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. Studies of oral ecology have led to an appreciation of the complexity of the interactions that oral micro-organisms have with the host in both health and disease. Despite this, dental caries and periodontal diseases are still worldwide human disorders, resulting in a high level of morbidity and a societal economic burden. Understanding the microbial and holistic factors occurring in the oral cavity would be beneficial in combating these common diseases.