Diseases of the Oral Cavity
Tooth decay, known formally as dental caries, has been a serious health problem for all nations since time immemorial. For centuries, tooth decay was thought to be the handiwork of an elusive and, in some cultures, evil tooth worm that gnawed holes into the white, highly mineralized enamel and left all those in its wake in pain.
Periodontal (gum) Disease
There are many different varieties of periodontal disease, and many ways in which these variations manifest themselves. All require immediate treatment by a periodontist to halt the progression and save the gum tissue and bone.
Oral cancer includes cancers of the mouth and the pharynx (the back of the throat). Oral cancer accounts for roughly two percent of all cancers diagnosed annually in the United States.
Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders, commonly called "TMJ," are a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement. We don't know for certain how many people have TMJ disorders, but some estimates suggest that over 10 million Americans are affected. The condition appears to be more common in women than men.
Occlusion refers to the alignment of teeth and the way that the upper and lower teeth fit together (bite). Ideally, all upper teeth fit slightly over the lower teeth. The points of the molars fit the grooves of the opposite molar.