Problems with your teeth and oral health can sneak up on you suddenly or develop noticeably over time. While you may be devoted to good oral hygiene, many times, a dental issue will be unpreventable or occur when you least expect it.
Regularly scheduled cleanings and dental exams can go a long way in identifying, treating, and preventing any dental health problems. You can help too by staying alert for issues, particularly the following nine most common dental problems occurring today.
The 9 Most Common Dental Problems Today
If you or your family members experience one or more of the following, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
1. Tooth Sensitivity
A dental problem experienced by all ages is often tooth sensitivity. Teeth can become overly sensitive to both hot and cold temperatures and also various sweets. In some instances, just breathing in cold air through your mouth can set you on edge. Brushing and flossing may also become a challenge.
Tooth sensitivity can be painful and may be a sign of a serious dental issue that needs addressing. Tooth decay, gum disease, a cracked tooth, or an abscess may be to blame. Teeth grinding at night can also lead to sensitivity.
Fortunately, there are measures you can take to treat your sensitive teeth. If your dentist finds no serious dental issue, you can try using a specially formulated toothpaste or other aid. Ask your dentist for a recommendation.
2. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is by far one of the most common dental problems today for children and adults alike, regardless of age. Also known as cavities, tooth decay develops when plaque interacts with sugars and starches in food, creating an acid that attacks your tooth’s enamel.
To avoid tooth decay forming, brush twice a day and floss at least once. Rinse your mouth after daily snacks and meals and schedule regular dental cleanings and checkups. You may also need fillings, root canals, dental crowns, or a tooth extraction as a result of the buildup of tooth decay.
3. Tooth Root Infections
Neglect or some type of trauma can often result in an infection deep within a tooth’s root. Bacteria find its way into the root cavity, which can lead to nerve and pulp tissue damage. Pain will often alert you to the problem and can be extremely uncomfortable.
You will most likely need a root canal by a qualified dentist or specialist to save your natural tooth. This procedure will take time, and it will be necessary to provide you with a local anesthetic during the procedure.
4. Tooth Erosion
Erosion of tooth enamel occurs for many reasons and is most often the result of excess acid attacking the surface of your teeth. The bacteria in tooth plaque can settle on the surface, causing a buildup over time. This buildup produces an acidic substance that can erode tooth enamel and lead to problems. Other factors that can lead to tooth erosion are Acid Reflux and aging.
Symptoms of tooth erosion include sensitivity, cracking, cavities, and discoloration. As a result of less surface enamel, you may need fillings, dental crowns, cosmetic bonding, or veneers. Also, ask your dentist about applying a sealant.
5. Persistent Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Not only is bad breath troubling to you, but it can also be embarrassing and noticeable by others. When toothpastes and mouthwashes aren’t helping to alleviate your bad breath, a separate dental issue may be the cause. Potential suspects include tooth decay, gum disease, or lingering bacteria in your mouth.
Bad breath can also be related to an underlying health condition, such as Sjogren’s syndrome with its symptom of dry mouth or a gastrointestinal or respiratory disease.
Schedule a dental exam to discover the cause behind your bad breath and what your options are for treating and eliminating it for good.
6. Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
When your gums become infected, they can easily swell or bleed, which are signs of gum or periodontal disease. Many factors can contribute to your gum disease, including poor oral hygiene, smoking, dry mouth, and aging. If you have diabetes, you may discover gum disease developing as well.
There are two stages of gum disease, gingivitis and the advanced periodontitis. If you experience any symptoms of gum disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
If periodontal disease is left untreated, you are at risk of losing teeth and other complications. Medical studies also link gum disease to heart disease, so the sooner you seek treatment, the better.
7. Mouth Sores
Sores located inside your mouth can be painful and uncomfortable. While most will heal on their own, others may linger. One example of this is canker sores, which commonly disappear on their own.
Other causes can be ill-fitting braces or dentures and even a pus-pocket sore at the base of a tooth’s root, which may be an abscess. For any mouth sore that doesn’t heal and disappear within a few days, consult with your dentist to discover a cause.
8. Tooth Discoloration
Discoloration of teeth can cause you to hide your smile and can directly affect your confidence and self-esteem as well.
The discoloration may be a result of the food and beverages you are consuming, such as red wine or coffee, which easily stains the tooth’s enamel. If you’ve experienced tooth enamel erosion, the discoloration may be the under layer of dentin showing through.
9. Toothaches (and other dental emergencies)
There’s nothing pleasant about waking up during the night with a throbbing toothache or other dental emergency.
A toothache may have many causes, including trapped food between teeth or more serious issues such as a cracked tooth, an abscessed tooth, or a tooth root infection. Seek temporary relief with pain relievers, ice packs, and various other home remedies. If it persists into the next day, call your dentist for an appointment.
Let Us Take Care of All Your Dental Needs
Combining good oral hygiene with regular dental visits can keep your teeth feeling and looking their best. When a problem does occur, however, Angela Bateson, DDS, and her talented dental team are here to help. Contact our office today and schedule an appointment with Dr. Bateson and her team.