Oral Health

Oral Health Articles

Cold sores

Cold sores are painful red blisters that occur on or around the mouth. They are caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2. HSV type 1 is the most common cause of cold sores. HSV type 2 usually causes genital herpes, but it can also cause cold sores. Cold sores tend to appear in the same place every time because the virus lives in the nerves that lead to that spot on the skin. At least half of all adults are infected with HSdV, which is easily spread from person to person. Once you are infected with HSV, you have the infection permanently. The virus lies "sleeping" inside the nerves, causing no symptoms most of the time. In some people, the virus periodically "wakes up" and causes cold sores. Conditions that can trigger cold sores include More »

Does better gum health protect your heart?

Proper care for the teeth and gums may help lower the risk for developing heart disease. Good dental care helps prevent gum disease. Gum disease leads to inflammation—the immune system’s attempt to heal injury. The chemicals produced by inflammation of the gums get into the blood. When they reach the heart, those chemicals may increase inflammation inside plaques of atherosclerosis in the arteries of the heart—thereby increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. (Locked) More »

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is a collection of painful symptoms affecting the jaw joints. These two joints are formed by the temporal bone of the skull, the jawbone, and the jaw muscles. Think of the temporomandibular joint as a hinge that connects your jaw to your skull. This joint lets you chew and talk. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction has several possible causes: Symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction include difficulty chewing or opening your jaw, clicking or popping noises while chewing, locked jaw, jaw pain, throbbing temples, ringing ears, and aching shoulders. It can happen to anyone, but is most common among women in their teens, 20s, and 30s. More »

Protect your heart during dental work

In the past, people taking an antiplatelet medication were usually told to stop taking it temporarily before dental surgery, but doing so may increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke in the weeks following the procedure. Experts we talked to offered advice about how to protect your heart if you need to undergo periodontal treatment or other invasive dental work. (Locked) More »

The aging mouth - and how to keep it younger

Age brings increased likelihood of tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. While there's not much you can do to stem the natural attrition of the tooth surface, the pillars of cavity prevention — brushing, flossing, and regular cleanings at the dentist's office — remain the same at any age and can keep the mouth healthy longer. More »