Oral Health Conditions

Updated on May 19, 2023

Common Oral Health Conditions and Diseases

Elena Borrelli
Written by 
Alyssa Hill
Medically Reviewed by Elena Borrelli
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Oral health is very important. It affects your smell, taste, ability to eat, speak and smile. It also affects your overall health. 

Poor oral health can lead to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and weakened immune system.

Common oral conditions include:

  • Bruxism
  • Bad breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Toothaches
  • Cracked teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Temporomandibular disorder (TMD)
  • Mouth breathing
  • Gum recession
  • Burning mouth
  • Gingival hyperplasia

Oral diseases are more serious than oral conditions, and include:

  • Gum disease
  • Cavities
  • Oral thrush
  • Canker sores
  • Dental abscess
  • Oral cancer

Most of these conditions can be prevented by proper oral hygiene. Practice proper brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash and see your dentist twice a year. Your dentist should be able to diagnose early signs of oral conditions and diseases.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best oral health routine?

Brushing and flossing are the most important parts of your oral health care routine. Brush at least twice a day (before eating and before bed), and floss once a day. Mouthwash can also help reduce your risk of cavities, gum disease, and other conditions and diseases.

Does your diet affect your oral health?

Yes, an unbalanced diet can increase your risk of oral diseases over time. An unbalanced diet may include sugary foods, fast food, and other processed foods. Sugar is a primary cause of cavities.

Can medications affect your oral health?

Some medications can cause dry mouth, changes in taste, gum inflammation, mouth sores, tooth decay, cavities, and oral thrush.
Common medications that can affect your oral health include antibiotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, asthma medications, blood pressure medications, chemotherapy, decongestants, diuretics, opioids, prednisone, and more.

Can oral health really affect your heart?

Yes, gum disease is linked to higher rates of heart (cardiovascular) disease. If you do not treat gingivitis it can turn into periodontitis. Periodontitis increases the risk of a bacterial infection entering your bloodstream and spreading to your blood valves.

Key Terms

Periodontal Disease


Dry Socket



Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is another term for gum disease. The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. This is when gums are swollen, red, and may bleed. Its second stage is called periodontitis. In this stage, gums can pull away from the tooth, and your teeth can loosen or fall out.
Learn More:
Stages of Periodontitis (Periodontal Disease)


This may be referred to as a dental abscess, oral abscess, or tooth abscess. It is a collection of pus caused by an infection. The infection causes toothaches and other symptoms. There are three kinds of abscesses, including gingival abscess, periodontal abscess, and periapical abscess.
Learn More:
Tooth Abscess Stages, Symptoms & Treatment

Dry Socket

Dry sockets are fairly common after tooth extractions, especially wisdom teeth extractions. After an extraction, a blood clot forms to help heal the wound. If the clot gets dislodged or forms incorrectly, a dry socket can form.
Learn More:
Dry Socket Causes, Symptoms & Treatment


Plaque is a sticky substance that forms on the surface of your teeth. It forms after you eat or drink. Carbohydrates from food combine with natural bacteria in your mouth and create acid. The acid combines with food particles and saliva to create plaque. Plaque build up can lead to tartar, tooth stains, tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease.
Learn More:
Plaque on Teeth: Causes, Prevention & Treatment


Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. It is contained in air, water, rocks, soil, and plants. Small amounts of fluoride can strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay. Excessive or long-term overexposure to fluoride may cause fluorosis, joint pain and stiffness, and other health conditions.
Learn More:
Fluoride Treatment: Types, Benefits & Risk Factors
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