Oral diseases affect nearly 3.5 billion patients globally. They’re one of the most common health issues in the world. They’re also one of the most dangerous because they affect the entire body.

Oral pathology attempts to study, diagnose, and treat these conditions. We’ve identified several that occur the most often so that dentists can be prepared to treat them and patients can recognize them.

Read on to learn about the most common oral diseases and how to spot and treat them.

Tooth Decay

Untreated tooth decay, also known as caries or cavities, is the most common oral health condition in the world. 

One of the most common causes of cavities is poor oral hygiene. It creates a buildup of plaque that combines with sugar to create an acid that breaks down your enamel. 

Cavities can cause your teeth to hurt suddenly or become sensitive to heat or cold. You may also notice visible holes or brown, black, or white stains.

Treatments for tooth decay depend on the severity of the condition and include:

  • Fluoride treatments
  • Fillings
  • Covering or removing the decaying tooth
  • Root canals

Gum Disease

Many of the most common oral diseases don’t only affect your teeth. At least 47% of adults who are at least 30 years old have some form of gum disease, and it’s severe in 10% of patients. 

The oral disease symptoms caused by gum disease depend on its severity.

Gingivitis is the least critical form and occurs when plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, irritating the soft tissue in your gums.

If the buildup continues to increase, you’ll develop a more severe form known as periodontitis. This causes the gums to pull away from the teeth and create pockets. 

Gum disease treatments also differ depending on the severity of the condition.

It may be able to be reversed if caught early. If not, you may need antibiotics, root planing and scaling, or a deep cleaning. In severe cases, surgery is the only solution.

Oral Herpes

Oral herpes, also known as the herpes simplex virus 1 or HSV-1, affects 2/3 of the population under 50.

It makes you susceptible to bacterial, fungal, and viral infections in your mouth. You’ll notice them when they creation lesions on your lips, under your tongue, or inside your cheeks.

The lesions may become itchy and painful. Other possible symptoms include dry mouth and difficulty swallowing. 

There is no cure for HSV-1, but the symptoms tend to disappear after a few days. Antiviral medication helps prevent the lesions from fully developing and also relieves symptoms.

Oral Cancer

Approximately 54,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer annually. The condition causes 1 death per hour every day, taking 9,750 lives per year.

Early detection is the best defense. Talk to your dentist as soon as possible if you have symptoms such as:

  • Lumps or sores in your mouth or lips
  • Red or white patches on your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Painful swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Ear or mouth pain
  • Difficulty moving your mouth or jaw

Smoking, alcohol consumption, age, and conditions such as HPV put you at higher risk. Treatments resemble those for most other types of cancer and usually involve a mix of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

Where to Get Treatment for Common Oral Diseases

The most common oral diseases include tooth decay, gum disease, oral herpes, and oral cancer. Billions of cases occur every year, and they can prove deadly without proper treatment.

The SYNERGY Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center offers a range of treatments for improving your oral health. Contact us today to see how we can help you.