With your teeth always hard at work chewing, chatting, and smiling, it’s no wonder that your smile is one of your most important assets! It’s your job to make sure to take care of your teeth. This means brushing and flossing at least twice a day and regular checkups at the dentist.
However, even if we do our absolute best to take care of our smile, there’s always a chance that dental problems can occur. It’s completely normal, but some common dental problems can result in red flags that something serious is going on. Check out these 6 common dental problems to see how you can identify and go about treating them.
Bad breath, or halitosis, is one of the most common dental problems people experience. Bad breath itself isn’t necessarily a lone problem. It can result from numerous causes such as eating specific food or medications, using tobacco products, or having poor dental hygiene.
Stores are stocked with plenty of ways to treat bad breath because of just how common it is. Mouthwash, gum, and mints are perfectly suited to treat bad breath in the short-term, but you should also review your oral hygiene routine if you notice persistent bad breath. If it continues even after you improve your routine, it may be a sign of something more serious.
Bad breath can sometimes be caused by dry mouth, infections in your mouth, and specific mouth, nose, and throat conditions. It can also be a sign of more serious problems such as specific cancers, metabolic conditions, or chronic reflux. If your bad breath is persisting, we urge you to go see a dentist. Your dentist will be able to see if there are signs of other problems and will be able to refer you to a doctor.
Tooth Decay and Cavities
Second only to the common cold as the most common disease in the United States, most people will experience cavities at least once in their lives. Cavities are caused by the buildup of plaque as it mixes with food high in starch and sugars. The acids in plaque then eat away at the surface of your teeth, creating tiny holes and pores in your enamel. Once a hole has been opened, the plaque begins to eat away at the dentin of your tooth. It will then break into the pulp of your tooth, the area that contains blood vessels and nerves. The pulp will swell inside of your tooth, causing the nerve to become compressed and sensitive.
There is no way to personally treat a cavity, so make a dental appointment as soon as you notice any of these symptoms: toothache, spontaneous pain without a discernible cause, mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold, pain when you chew, visible holes or pits in your teeth, or brown, black or white staining on the surface of a tooth.
Plaque is the root cause of any cavity, but what is it? Plaque occurs when the bacteria in your mouth mixes with sugary or starchy food and presents itself as a sticky film on your teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to hard to remove tartar.
Luckily, you can get rid of plaque by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth! At your regular dental checkups, you’ll also have any plaque or tartar in your mouth removed.
When the color or shade of your teeth change, you’re experiencing tooth discoloration. This is an extremely common problem, and for the most part it doesn’t indicate anything wrong with your teeth. Tooth discoloration can be caused by eating or drinking specific things that can stain your teeth like tea, cola, or apples. It can also result from aging, genetics, or your environment. Sometimes it’s a side effect of medications or disease.
Whatever the cause of your tooth discoloration, it’s a simple thing to fix. You can use over-the-counter whitening agents, in-home or in-office treatments from your dentist, or veneers.
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is an infection of the gums surrounding and supporting your teeth. It occurs when the bacteria found in plaque produces toxins that irritate your gums and can be serious if not caught early.
The first state of gum disease is gingivitis, indicated by consistent bad breath. If you don’t treat this early, it will lead to periodontal disease, which could cause you to prematurely lose your teeth.
If you notice any of these signs, contact your dentist immediately: bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, swollen or tender gums, loose teeth, or pus development.
You can do your part to prevent gingivitis by practicing a good oral health routine. It’s also smart to regularly visit your dentist to clean all the plaque and tartar off your teeth!
Root infections occur when the base of your tooth becomes infected due to a cavity, crack, or fracture, leading it to swell up. Root infections are fairly easy to notice. You’ll suffer from a constant, throbbing toothache, the area will be sensitive to hot and cold substances and chewing and biting will be painful. You may also experience facial swelling in the affected area.
There is no way to cure a root infection in-home, so if you are suffering from a root infection, you’ll need a root canal treatment. This is a safe and commonly done procedure, and you’ll be in the safe hands of your dentist.
If you are suffering from any of these common dental problems, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’ll be able to get your smile back in shape, and you’ll leave worry and pain free! Contact Clock Tower Dental for all of your dental needs!