Dentistry - Term Overview

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The dentistry is the medical specialty devoted to the study of the teeth and gums and to treat their ailments. This discipline is responsible for everything related to the stomatognathic apparatus, formed by the set of organs and tissues found in the oral cavity and in part of the skull, face and neck.

The origin of dentistry dates back thousands of years. The first documented dental practice took place in Egypt more than 5000 years ago. Closer in time, barbers were responsible for the extraction of teeth until dentistry was institutionalized.

There are two large dental groups: the anterior group, made up of the incisors and canines, and the posterior group, made up of the premolars and molars. Beyond the aesthetic aspect, each tooth has a function. The incisors allow to cut the food, the canines help to tear and the premolars are in charge of the grinding, for example.

The decay is one of the diseases most common teeth. It appears due to the action of acids produced by bacteria and destroys enamel and dentin. The consumption of carbonated drinks affects the formation of cavities.

Other common diseases are gingivitis (inflammation and bleeding of the gums caused by a bacterial infection) and periodontitis (when the tissue that connects teeth to bone is destroyed ).

Dentists recommend that oral hygiene includes the use of a toothbrush, mouthwash and dental floss. It's your obligation to tell patients how to use all of these products in detail. They are also strongly opposed to tobacco use and the abuse of substances that can damage enamel.

One of the less obvious characteristics of dentistry is that it's not as common in all countries. While in some it's part of the medical care most consumed by the people, in others it seems to be a kind of "luxury", accessed only by those who have more money. This also happens with orthodontics, a branch that deals with the structural and aesthetic part of the teeth.

Therefore, it's enough to look at the teeth of a population to know how important dentistry is in its territory. However, there is a fundamental problem that makes this cultural difference more evident: the lack of respect with which we treat our teeth and our mouth. While this changes generation after generation, and dentures are less and less common, it seems that humans don't know how to take care of their own oral hygiene instinctively.

This leads us to wonder why we need a dental specialist to teach us how to brush our teeth, something that should be basic given the diseases that can arise if we do it wrong. One of the possible answers is the comfort into which we have fallen since the emergence of medicine, something that also occurs with the security forces: "if I get sick, I go to the doctor; if they assault me, to the police ". But in the past, when the structure was much less complex, the human being was more self-sufficient.

Among the aspects that dentistry does have in common in almost any part of the world is that it belongs to private medicine, and not to public medicine. This means that we must pay to access the care of professionals in this specialty. This is the first wall that leaves out people with fewer economic resources, which forces them to have mouths in worse condition simply because they don't have as much money as the others, and not due to lack of attention to their own health.

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