How Can Oral Health Problems Be Prevented?

Tips for Preventing Oral Health Problems

Good oral hygiene can help protect more than just your teeth. People with poor oral health may also have:

  • self-esteem issues
  • a harder time finding a job
  • difficulty participating and performing well in school
  • oral discomfort
  • speech problems
  • malnutrition
  • swallowing problems

There are several common ways to improve your dental health, such as visiting your dentist frequently and brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. Many groups of people may need to take extra precautions. Continue reading, to know more.





Early childhood caries (ECC), or baby bottle syndrome, is a pronounced pattern of decay in the tooth. You may note white spots on the gum line when it first shows up. As the decay continues, those spots will turn brown. Early treatment is critical for lowering decay levels.

Sugars left on your teeth will result in ECC. These sugars may come from milk, water, or food.

Here are some tips to avoid ECC:

  • Subject the feeding of bottles to meal times.
  • Don't put your baby in a bottle to sleep. In the sugars on which bacteria feed, the milk or juice that pools in the mouth will bathe teeth.
  • Once their teeth grow in, get your baby used to routine oral care by rubbing a clean, fluffy, thin cloth like a handkerchief twice daily with their gums.
  • After the teeth erupt, turn to a water-moistened baby toothbrush. Once your child is old enough to spit it out, do not use toothpaste. Swallowing toothpaste when growing your teeth can cause a condition called fluorosis, which results from swallowing too much fluoride and causes your teeth to look mottled or grainy. By the time they are 1 year old you should wean your child from the bottle. Use a lock to mount a sippy cup or another spill-proof cup.


Women have different dental concerns during various life stages.

Teenage Years

When a young woman begins to menstruate, her periods may be accompanied by mouth sores or swollen gums.

Early Adulthood

Women of childbearing age have a further excuse to practice good oral hygiene. Periodontal disease raises with low birth weight the possibility of premature birth.


An increase in progesterone and other hormones will disrupt your body's normal equilibrium during pregnancy. That can lead to gingivitis, too little or too much saliva, or tumor-like growths on your gums called granulomas. Frequent vomiting caused by morning sickness can induce tooth decay by dissolving the enamel of the tooth. Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent such problems. If you have any medical concerns, consult your dentist or doctor.

Don't miss dental appointments when you are pregnant. Receiving dental care is healthy for the pregnant women. Just make sure that you tell your dentist that you are pregnant.

Menopause and Postmenopausal

When women enter menopause they are at risk for periodontal disease due to an estrogen deficiency. Many have mouth burning syndrome (BMS), too. This condition is characterized by an uncomfortable feeling of tingling, sometimes associated with changes in perception of the taste. The disease is treated either with medicated creams or lozenges, or oral medicines.

Older Adults

You can become less able to chew effectively as you age, particularly if you have missing teeth or dentures that are poorly fit. You can take dry mouth medicine. This problem can cause swallowing problems which can lead to malnutrition. Furthermore, having a dry mouth will build up bacteria, causing bad breath, gum disease, and infection.

23 percent of adults aged 65 to 74 have extreme periodontal disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source. Often this is the product of challenges to good oral health, such as arthritis and memory loss.

Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities

Long-term care facilities families or other group homes include not only disabled adults but also children and adults with physical or mental impairments. For good oral hygiene, they are often dependent on carers. Sometimes that treatment is difficult to provide. If they misinterpret the caregiver's intent, a resident can become agitated. In fact, violence is more likely to be seen in residents of long-term care facilities when personal care is being given, such as when a caregiver is assisting with tooth brushing. This may result in hurried or missed oral care altogether. Special measures, such as the use of physical restraints or medications, may be necessary to enable the caregiver to maintain the oral hygiene program.


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