Common Dental Infections
Monday, September 29, 2008

Your teeth are important in many ways. If you take care of them, they'll help take care of you and help you look your best. Dr. Ed Hill discusses some common dental infections that can create problems for your teeth in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Taking care of your mouth is important. You and your family should visit a dentist each year, starting at one year of age, to avoid and treat common dental infections.

Dental caries is an infection caused by certain bacteria in your mouth. It destroys the enamel, the hard outer layer, and dentin, the bone-like tissue under the enamel, of your teeth. More common names for dental caries are cavities and tooth decay.

Pulpitis is when the tooth pulp gets inflamed. Pulp is the soft tissue inside the tooth that has nerves and blood vessels. This happens when tooth decay is not treated.

Periodontal infection is an infection of the gums caused by a buildup of bacteria. If the gums are inflamed for more than six months, it can cause bone loss around the teeth.

You can prevent gum disease and other common dental infections by brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash every day. You should brush twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Ed Hill.