Lima Dental
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Palmview 1337 E Palmavista Dr Suite D
Palmview, Texas 78572
(956) 600-7412
McAllen 601 N. McColl Rd Ste. A
McAllen, TX
(956) 800-4501
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Diseases of the Oral Cavity

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay (caries) is the world’s most common dental disease. People tend to associate dental caries with toothache and the infamous “hole in the tooth”. But tooth decay is much more than that – if left untreated it can threaten the whole body

Causes of Tooth decay

Tooth decay is a local damage or loss of dental material (enamel, dentin root cement). It is a type of damage caused by bacterial activities in the dental plaque present on the tooth surface.

The bacteria found in dental plaque break down sugars into acid. Enamel, dentin exposed to this acid leads to demineralization (descaling) and can lead to irreversible lesions (holes or caries) and consequently toothache. If the caries is not treated in time, the inflammation can spread to the jawbone, adjacent teeth and gums.

Tooth decay is a multi-factorial and complex disorder in which many factors are involved simultaneously (i.e. teeth, bacteria, nutrients and time).

Although ultimately bacteria are responsible for the development of tooth decay – but only if we allow them to do so by insufficiently brushing our teeth. This illustrates the importance of oral hygiene and preventive dental care as well as the professional cleaning of teeth by the dentist, which removes plaque and tartar.


Dental caries begins inconspicuously and initially causes no pain, so it is often overlooked in the initial stages. Occasionally, white spots (white spots) appear on the surfaces of the teeth, indicating descaling of the enamel layer. The hard tooth surface then becomes porous at this point and becomes brownish over time. With poor oral hygiene, the demineralization progresses, and small holes are formed from which carries causing bacteria can penetrate.

As soon as a hole is formed, pain may occur, as the caries pathogens usually attack the tooth nerves in the pulp at this stage.

Teeth sensitivity to hot, cold and sweet foods or drinks are also symptoms associated with tooth decay.

Treatment of tooth decay

If there are no holes in the enamel layer, professional teeth cleaning and remineralization of the decalcified white areas can be successful.

If the enamel has been damaged or holes have already formed, it is necessary to drill out the affected tooth areas to remove the focus of the disease and the inflammation. The dentist cleans and disinfects the resulting hole and then fills the cavity with a composite filler material.

If the carious process has already penetrated to the depth of the tooth root, a root canal treatment would have to be instituted.

Sometimes the destruction of the tooth substance has progressed so far that the tooth stability cannot be restored even with a filling. If that is the case, inlays , onlays or a crown, which replace a part of the tooth are used.

If tooth decay is left untreated, the bacteria continue the destructive process which can spread to the jawbone resulting in severe pain and inflammation. Then there is the danger that pathogens can find their way into the bloodstream and spread to other organs, making it imperative you see your dentist immediately.

TMJ Disorders

What is a TMJ disorder?TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) disorders, unfortunately, have steadily increased in recent years. The TMJ is the joint connecting your jaw to the temporal bone of your skull in the area just in front of your ears.

This joint allows for the movement of the jaw up and down and side to side, thus allowing for certain functions like chewing, talking, yawning.

Therefore, any problem with this joint and the muscles associated with it is known as temporomandibular joint disorders.

Causes of TMJ disorders

The exact cause might still be debatable. However, problems with your jaw muscles, Injury to the jaw, the joint, or the muscles are possible causes. Stress, arthritis, grinding or clenching of the teeth are also likely to cause TMJ disorders.

Symptoms of TMJ disorder

  • Severe pain and discomfort on one or both side of your face. This can be short-lived of may last over a long period.
  • Difficulty in opening your mouth wide
  • “Stucked” or “locked” jaw when you open or close your mouth
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when moving your mouth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Swelling on the side of your face

Treatment of TMJ disorders

First of all, correct diagnosis is vital because not all supposedly TMJ disorders turn out to be as suspected. That it is why this should be provided by an experienced dentist. Not only do they have coherent knowledge and experience, but they also know your bite situation and are competent in the aspect of dental prosthetics.

We advocate a holistic approach to a temporomandibular joint problem.

In many cases, a panoramic X-ray image forms part of the assessment. If it is really an actual temporomandibular joint disorder, the dentist may initiate a three-dimensional temporomandibular joint scan via a digital volume tomography (DVT).

As a rule, an individual bite splint is then made for the patient. The setting data for this bite splint are created in different ways depending on the disease and the severity of the pain.

Other procedures used to address TMJ disorders include physiotherapy, cranio-sacral therapy, podo-neurological examination, lifestyle change and acupuncture.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults today. It is an inflammation of the periodontium, which can develop from the inflammation of the gum (gingivitis).

How does it develop?

In our mouth live more than 500 different types of bacteria. Most of them are harmless and are responsible for maintaining oral health. Also, there are periodonto-pathogenic germs, which are responsible for the development and progression of periodontal disease. Together with leftovers and other organic and mineral substances, they form the plaque on the teeth.

If the plaque is not carefully removed, especially at the gum line, it hardens under the influence of the saliva to tartar. The result includes inflammation of the gums, bleeding gums and the formation of periodontal pockets because the gums increasingly detach from the dental hard tissue.

The periodontal pockets that are formed tend to provide ideal living conditions for bacteria proliferation. As a result, the connective and bone tissue surrounding the tooth is increasingly destroyed by the bacteria, which eventually cause tooth loss.

The periodontal disease begins slowly and gradually, usually without pain and is therefore often not noticed. Therefore, be aware of the first warning signs that may indicate the presence of the disease:

  • Bleeding gums while brushing your teeth
  • Red, swollen and sensitive gums
  • Halitosis
  • Loose teeth

To prevent spread and tooth loss, early detection is crucial for the success of your treatment.

Periodontal disease can cause the teeth to lose grip. But not only that: it is also essential for your overall health to recognize and treat the disease at an early stage. Because the periodontal bacteria spread from the mouth through the bloodstream in the body, they can also lead to inflammation in other areas of the body and promote the occurrence of severe general conditions.

If periodontal disease left untreated, it could harm the heart and the chance of a heart attack or stroke increases significantly. The risk of premature birth is also increased in periodontitis.

The best protection against gum disease and periodontitis are consistent oral hygiene and regular prophylactic measures. Scientific studies show that patients who regularly have a Professional Dental Cleaning are less likely to develop gum diseases. New treatment methods have also made periodontitis therapy much safer and gentler today than in the past.

Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer

The American Cancer Society estimates for oral cavity, and oropharyngeal cancers in the United States for 2019 are:

  • About 53,000 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer.
  • Approximately 10,860 individuals will die of these cancers.
  • Incidence is twice as common in men as in women.
  • They are about equally common in blacks and Caucasians.

Oral cancer is a malignant tumor that emanates from the oral mucosa. Any area in the oral cavity can be affected, such as the tongue or the floor of the mouth. Troubling is the fact that the patient may not notice the progression of the disease at an early stage because it is not uncommon for it to progress without causing pain or noticeable symptoms.

Causes of Oral Cancer

Why oral cancer develops is not clear. Certain habits of life can contribute to its creation. It is proven that people are more likely to develop oral cancer if they regularly smoke and drink alcohol for a long time.

Changes in the oral mucosa, such as non-healing wounds, may be the first indication of oral cancer. Other symptoms might include whitish or red spots in the mouth that cannot be wiped off or scraped off, Swelling in the mouth (foreign body sensation), unclear tooth loosening, complaints when chewing and swallowing, swollen lymph nodes on the neck, increased salivation, decreased mobility of the tongue, numbness on tongue, teeth or lip etc. Please note that these signs can also have other causes.

If these signs are noticed and persist, you should see your doctor or dentist.

Detection and Cure for oral cancer

Diagnoses involve taking a tissue sample from a suspicious spot in the mouth. This is then examined to confirm the presence or absence of cancerous cells.

It is impossible to predict how the disease will progress. Among other things, this depends on how quickly and aggressively, the cancer grows also how big it is. Small, localized tumors can either be operated on or irradiated.

In more advanced oral cancer cases, surgery is often supplemented with radiation or radiation chemotherapy.

The treatment also depends on the personal needs and the physical condition of the person concerned. All treatment options and their advantages and disadvantages would be highlighted to the patient.



The upper and lower rows of teeth should fit well together when you close your mouth typically. However, if you can no longer put the teeth together, and therefore do not fit properly, you can be said to be having dental malocclusion. Often this causes extra tension in the jaw joint, and can cause pain in the jaw and / or face.

The cause of malocclusion of the teeth differs: genetic factors play a major role, but accidents with facial injuries, respiratory problems and persistent thumb sucking can also play an important role in the development of the condition.

There are different types of malocclusion:

  • Disto-occlusion: the teeth of the lower jaw are much more to the rear than usual. People with disto-occlusion are often inclined to place the lower lip behind the front teeth.
  • Angle Class III malocclusion: the lower row of teeth is positioned forward. This mainly causes problems with the chewing muscles.
  • Traumatic deep bite: the lower teeth are moved backwards in such a way that they come into contact with the palate. This can cause pain and open wounds in the palate and pain when chewing.
  • Lateral and anterior cross-bite: this includes 1 or more of the upper teeth within the lower row of teeth. This not only disrupts regular chewing movements but can also cause abnormalities in the development of the jaw joints over time.
  • Open bite: only the molar teeth still have contact with each other. There is no contact of the upper and lower rows of the front teeth. An open bite is often the result of permanent thumb or finger sucking.
  • Asymmetrical growth is usually the result of trauma. Both jaw halves sometimes develop unevenly.

Malocclusion can result in further problems. These issues might include difficulty in sleeping, speech disorders, and rheumatoid arthritis of the jaw joint, and so on.

Certainly with children and young people a regular mouth check by a dentist is essential so that they can catch the problem early and then refer them to an orthodontist for prompt and more comfortable treatment.

The treatment of maloccluded teeth is done by a specially trained dentist – the orthodontist. Tooth growth and the development of the bite are checked, and then the abnormality is corrected with the aid orthodontic devices, surgery (in severe cases), physiotherapy, behavior modification etc.

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