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Problems with the Teeth – Cracked teeth, Pyorrhea, Cancer of the Gums

Cracked Teeth. A tooth broken from trauma or any other cause may not be painful or diseased itself, but jagged, sharp edges of the teeth are often points of chronic irritation for the gums, cheeks and tongue. Continued irritation becomes serious eventually, as a possible cause of cancer and other disease within the mouth. Broken, cracked teeth, therefore, are always a matter of concern for the dentist, in the prevention of further disease.

Pyorrhea. Pyorrhea is responsible for the greatest proportion of teeth lost during the adult years. The tooth itself is not involved but the surrounding gum is infected and discharges pus as it recedes farther and farther. It is difficult to check and seeks to destroy the tooth socket in the bone. Pyorrhea is most often due to a slackening in routine dental care in later years, accompanied by a foregone conclusion that the teeth will become lost eventually, no matter what care is given them. After the teeth are lost, the gums overcome the infection and the Pyorrhea is ended.

False Teeth. After the loss of permanent teeth, the wearing of dentures and plates is dictated more by custom of society rather than by absolute necessity. Adjustment to the wearing of artificial teeth may be quite difficult at times, but such problems are usually solved with patience, especially when under the care and guidance of a good dentist.

Cancer and Similar Growths of the Gums. Cancer involving the gums usually extends from cancer growing in the floor of the mouth or side of the tongue. It appears as an ulcerating, irregular sore similar to a large canker sore, and it bleeds easily. There are several other growths of the gums which are difficult to identify or distinguish from cancer. Accurate diagnosis then requires an exact medical investigation, including x-ray study and microscopic identification.

The treatment of cancer of the gum as well as other similar growths, is usually a matter of surgery or x-ray treatment. Because such treatments are markedly successful in early stages but sadly unsuccessful in later stages, continual soreness anywhere on the gums as well as other regions of the mouth should be brought with haste to proper medical authorities.

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Diseases of the teeth and gums

Advancing years exact a heavy toll of the teeth in infection, decay and actual loss. In early years of life, heredity and nutrition are most important to the teeth. In later years, especially after fifty, tooth life is in direct proportion to care received.

Decay. Tooth decay slows down considerably in adult years as compared with the formative years of childhood. It can, however, start at any age and often continues until the tooth is lost. Prevention of tooth decay means proper and regular cleaning of the teeth, along with routine dental inspection and hygiene.

Abscess (Infected) Teeth. An abscessed tooth, with an accumulation of pus in and about a root, often develops from cracked or decayed teeth. Sometimes the abscess is very small, but frequently reaches the size of a walnut with terrific pain, high fever and a greatly swollen jaw and neck.
Because of its many consequences, besides the pain involved, abscessed teeth must be treated as early as possible. The very val-


Fig. 25. Abscessed teeth are frequently the cause of other ailments in the body such as arthritis, skin difficulties, etc. They are almost impossible to cure and should be removed.

uable x-ray can easily locate the abscess and even picks out small abscesses before they cause discomfort. Dental treatment may require removal of the abscessed tooth, although at times treatment which allows the tooth to remain is successful in curing the abscess.

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