Dentistry is a medical field that specializes in the study, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the diseases and disorders of the oral cavity and the structures that it contains. These include teeth, gums and other structures particularly in the maxillofacial (jaw and facial area). Unlike the commonly held perception, dentistry is not limited to the treatment of teeth but is a complex field that encompasses other aspects of the craniofacial complex including the temporomandibular joint and the muscular and nervous structures associated with it.

Dentistry is a wide field and is divided into many branches. These include :

  • Oral medicine and oral radiology:

This branch deals with the diagnosis and treatment planning of diseases in the oral cavity including the teeth and its associated structures.

  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery:

This branch of dentistry deals with the surgical aspects of the oral cavity and other tissues of the face. The structures include jaws and bones until the orbit. It involves various surgeries ranging from simple ones like impacted tooth removals, fractures involving the facial bones, cyst removals to complex surgeries like orthognathic surgery (corrective jaw surgery).

  • Pedodontics:

It is a branch of dentistry that deals with the prevention and treatment of diseases in children’s teeth and oral cavity. 

  • Endodontics:

The word endodontics is the combination of two root words, ‘endo’ which means inside and ‘odontos’ which means tooth. Thus this branch deals with the structures inside the tooth that is pulp. One of the most famous dental procedure, root canal treatment (RCT), is performed by an endodontist.

  • Periodontics:

Periodontium is a combination of the two root words ‘peri’ meaning around and ‘odontos’ meaning tooth. Thus this branch deals with the treatment of the supporting structures which include the gingiva (gums), periodontal ligament, root cementum and alveolar bone proper. The main function of the periodontium is to attach the tooth to the bone tissue of the jaws and to maintain the integrity of the surface of the masticatory (mastication means the process of chewing) mucosa of the oral cavity. 

  • Orthodontics:

It deals with the issues in proper alignment of teeth and jaws.

  • Prosthodontics:

It is the branch of dentistry that helps to restore look, function, comfort and health of a patient’s oral cavity with artificial materials.

  • Oral pathology:

It is the branch of dentistry that deals with the diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial region.

  • Implantology:

It is the branch of dentistry that replaces the missing teeth by placing implants in the jawbone and then covering it with crown or a cap. The implants are usually made of titanium or other biocompatible material and usually is in the form of a screw.

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Frequently asked questions about Dental Science

Can Dental problems lead to any serious life threatening problems?

Yes, dental problems can give rise to some severe problems. The bacteria spread throughout the body by entering the bloodstream, because of tooth infections. If these bacteria reach the heart or brain, it can cause some serious medical conditions. Some of the conditions one may face can be Heart Disease, Cancer, Brain, and Cognitive Issues, Respiratory problems, Diabetes, Issues with Infertility and Birth, and Ludwig Angina 

Can Dental treatment do Facelift and help me in beautification of my face?

Yes, dental treatment can do a facelift. There can be a rejuvenated look on a patient's face and jaw by going through non-surgical and non-invasive methods wherein teeth are restored and bite correction is been made. This happens in facelift dentistry. These methods are much better compared to other, as the shape of the face surely gets improved by doing corrections in your jawline, facial profile, correcting under bites and bad bites. 

What are the symptoms of dental problems?

The common symptoms of dental problems include:

  • ulcers, sores, or tender areas in the mouth that won’t heal after a week or two
  • bleeding or swollen gums after brushing or flossing
  • chronic bad breath
  • sudden sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures or beverages
  • pain or toothache
  • loose teeth
  • receding gums
  • pain with chewing or biting
  • swelling of the face and cheek
  • clicking of the jaw
  • cracked or broken teeth
  • frequent dry mouth
What is Pyorrhea?

Many inflammatory diseases affect the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth which cause conditions known as Pyorrhea or periodontitis. Pyorrhea can lead to One can go through the loss of alveolar bone around the teeth, if pyorrhea developes. The teeth can even get loosen and fall off if this condition is not treated timely.

What is Root canal?

If a tooth gets badly decayed or infected, to repair and save the same, Root canal treatment is done. This procedure is done wherein; the pulp and the nerve both are removed. The tooth inside part is then cleaned and sealed.

What are artificial teeth?

Artificial teeth or dentures are the replacement for if one is facing a condition related to missing teeth, then artificial teeth or dentures are the perfect replacement for it. Dentures are available in two types, one is a complete denture and the other one is a partial denture. Complete dentures are used when if one has lost all their teeth, they need to use complete dentures. If one has any missing teeth, they can use partial denture.  

What is Mouth cancer? What are the early signs of it?

Mouth cancer is also known by other name, oral cancer. 

Oral cancer is a cancer that can develop in any part of the mouth, including the tongue, the gums, the palate, under the tongue, the skin lining the mouth or the lips.

Its early signs are :

  • Mouth sores that have not recovered in about 2 weeks
  • More often if bleeds in the mouth
  • Numbness or partial loss of feeling inside the mouth or on the face or neck
  • Bumps, lumps, or swelling inside the mouth or on the lips
  • Dark, red, or white patches inside the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain while swallowing
  • Earaches
  • Thickening of the gums or lips
  • A sudden change in voice
  • Swelling of the jaw
What are Dental Problems?

Dental problems are those which occur due to the lack of poor oral hygiene. Teeth and gums are the main areas of the mouth, wherein if any conditions arise, it is referred to as a dental problem. Oral health is surely affected because of such a problem. Gum diseases occur due to bacterial infection. 

What is mouth care?

The other word for mouth care is oral care also. By regularly brushing the teeth and flossing, one can keep the teeth and the associated structures of the mouth clean and healthy. This is referred to as mouth care. One can keep the mouth healthy and can prevent mouth problems in several ways. The conditions such as infections and mouth sores arise when proper oral hygiene is not followed. So need to regularly follow the same to avoid any such dental conditions.

Can regular brushing the teeth protect you from dental problem?

Yes, if one maintains oral hygiene by regularly cleaning the teeth by brushing and flossing, one can keep their mouth clean and thus can be free from many dental conditions. Many dental problems, smaller or bigger like bad breath and other severe conditions can be avoided by regular brushing and flossing the teeth. 

How can I detect any dental problems earlier?

The dentist will be able to diagnose the early signs of disease and they can be treated accordingly if regular consultations are done. If not treated timely, it can cause damage to other teeth and thus can be painful. One should consult a dentist more regularly if one has a high risk of dental disease.

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Brief information on various types of Dental problems
Bad Breath:
Some of the conditions like gum disease, cavities, oral cancer, dry mouth, and bacteria on the tongue can cause bad breath.

Cavities or Tooth Decay: Cavities are caused due to bacteria and acid on the surface of a tooth and are like small holes. When bacteria, food, and acid covers your teeth and form plaque, cavities or tooth decay start taking place. 

Gum Disease: Gum disease, also called gingivitis, When any kind of inflammation arises in the gums, it leads to gum disease. Because of poor brushing and flossing habits, plaque builds up on the teeth which result in this disease. Gingivitis can make your gums bleed and swell when you brush or floss. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, which is a more serious infection. 

Oral Cancer: Oral cancer affects millions of people and is considered to be a serious and deadly disease. The factors that increase the risk of getting oral cancer are tobacco and alcohol use, including chewing tobacco. 

Some of the signs of having mouth or throat cancer are sores, lumps, or rough areas in the mouth. One may also face difficulty in chewing or moving your tongue or jaw.

Mouth Sores: Mouth sores are of various types and at times, they can be bothersome. If a mouth sore lasts less than two weeks, then no need to worry about it. It will disappear on its own.

Tooth Sensitivity: Tooth sensitivity can cause pain or discomfort while consuming cold or hot foods or beverages. 

Dentin hypersensitivity is the other name for Tooth sensitivity. After root canal treatment, at times one can suffer from this sensitivity. It can also be the result of:

  • gum disease
  • receding gums
  • a cracked tooth
  • worn-down fillings or crowns

Cracked or broken teeth: Some of the reasons for having cracked or broken teeth are,  

 A habit of grinding the teeth at night 

  • If any injury happens to the mouth
  • Chewing hard foods 

 This type of tooth can cause a lot of pain. If any such conditions arise, one should visit dental doctor immediately.

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