Oral health is an integral part of your overall health and well-being. The basics of practicing good oral hygiene are taught to us from an early age for good reasons. Our teeth serve a various purposes and they are important not only for aesthetic reasons but also for your overall well-being. However, teeth are susceptible to several issues that can result in their loss. Fortunately, most of the dental problems are preventable and be treated if caught earlier. To prevent dental issues, it is essential to learn about potential threats and how to avoid them. Here are the most common dental problems and solutions.
common dental problems: causes and treatment
Problems with your teeth or gums can cause pain and need to be checked out. This page has information on some of the common conditions that can cause dental problems and how to help keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
Toothache refers to pain in and around the teeth and jaws that’s usually caused by tooth decay. If you have toothache for more than one or two days, You’ve made a dentist appointment, and it can’t come soon enough. Meanwhile, it can help to rinse your mouth with warm water, floss to remove food caught between teeth, and take an over-the-counter pain reliever. If you notice swelling or pus around the tooth, or if you have a fever, that could be a sign that you have an abscess, a more serious problem. See your dentist as soon as possible. You may need antibiotics and possibly a root canal.
Your teeth are like your laundry: The right approach will remove many stains. Foods, medications, tobacco, and trauma are some of the things that can discolor your teeth. You have three options for whitening them. Your dentist can use a whitening agent and a special light. Or you can bleach them at home with a plastic tray and gel from your dentist or a store. The simplest choice, whitening toothpaste and whitening rinses, only remove surface stains.
These little holes in your teeth are bad news. You get them when a sticky bacteria, called plaque, builds up on your teeth, slowly destroying the hard outer shell, called enamel. Adults can also have problems with tooth decay at the gum line and around the edges of earlier fillings. To prevent it, brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, limit snacks, floss daily, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash, and keep up with your dental appointments. Ask your dentist if you could benefit from a sealant.
It’s the No. 1 type of dental injury. An accident can cause a chip. Your dentist may recommend a crown if the chip is large or bonding with a strong resin material to replace the area that chipped. If the pulp is at risk, you may need a root canal followed by a veneer or crown.
An adult tooth that doesn’t come in properly is “impacted.” It usually happens when a tooth is stuck against another tooth, bone, or soft tissue. If it isn’t bothering you, a dentist may recommend leaving it alone. But if it hurts or may cause problems later on, an oral surgeon can remove it.
You were playing football without a mouth guard, or chewing, or maybe you don’t know how it happened, but now you’ve got a cracked molar. Can your dentist save the tooth? It depends. Most dentist recommend crowns for cracked teeth to prevent the crack from worsening. If the tooth is sensitive to hot and cold, the problem is more complex. Try to chew on the other side until you see your dentist. If the crack is above the gum line, you may need a root canal and a crown. A deeper crack means the tooth must be pulled, though. Fillings can increase the chance of a crack.
Sensitive to Cold
Ice cream should taste good, not make you wince when the cold hits your teeth. The first step is to find the cause. It could be cavities, worn tooth enamel or fillings, gum disease, fractured teeth, or exposed roots. Once your dentist figures out the problem, you might need a filling, a root canal, or treatment of your gums to replace tissue lost at the root. Or you might just need a desensitizing toothpaste or strip, or a fluoride gel.
Too Many Teeth: Hyperdontia
How many teeth are in your mouth? If you’re like most people, you had 20 primary, or baby, teeth, and you now have 32 adult teeth. It’s rare, but some people have extra teeth, which is called hyperdontia. People who have it usually also have another condition, such as a cleft palate or Gardner’s Syndrome (which forms tumors that aren’t cancer). The treatment is to get the extra teeth removed and use orthodontics to correct the bite.
The fix – orthodontia – isn’t just for kids. And straightening crooked teeth and aligning your bite doesn’t just make for a prettier smile. It can be a key part of improving overall dental health, relieving symptoms like jaw pain. Orthodontists may use braces (metal or trays), aligners, and retainers.
Gap Between Teeth
You may not consider a gap between the front teeth a problem at all. If you want to correct it, though, your options include orthodontics to move teeth closer together and cosmetic solutions like veneers or bonding.
Do your gums bleed easily? Are they tender? Do you notice them pulling away from your teeth? You might be in the early stages of gum disease (gingivitis) or in the more advanced stage (periodontitis). A buildup of plaque, a sticky bacteria, below the gum line causes it. Left untreated, periodontitis can cause bone loss, and your teeth might shift or become loose. That can make it harder to chew and even speak. To avoid gum disease, brush, floss, and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash daily, and see your dentist for regular cleanings.
Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth is called bruxism. Stress is one of the causes. Misaligned teeth or sleep issues can also be culprits among adults. (Among kids, causes can include allergies.) Bruxism can give you headaches, a sore jaw, and cracked or loose teeth. If you grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist to fit you with a mouth guard. If it’s a daytime problem, try meditation, exercise, or other ways to curb stress.
If you’ve heard of or tried a root canal treatment, then you know a root infection is a serious problem. It’s painful and very uncomfortable. A root infection occurs when bacteria infects the root part of your tooth. It enters the center of your tooth and attacks the pulp tissue inside. You will experience what you might rule off as a generic toothache.
Eventually, an abscess will form indicating that the root infection has developed to a more severe case. If you do not see any abscess but have persisting pain, visit your local dentist.
Possibly, a root canal procedure might be advised and though many people think it is a painful process, it’s actually not. Dentists give their patients anesthesia and one would hardly feel any pain. You would feel the movement and pressure of the tools but there won’t be any pain until the anesthesia wears off. The healing part is where the pain comes in along with a bit of swelling that an ice pack can’t alleviate.
Many of the common dental problems we’ve already discussed can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease eventually leads to this if not treated immediately. Tooth decay can also lead to an extraction if the tooth can no longer be saved. Same goes for root infections. Consequently, when this happens you only have two options: dentures or dental implants.
Of course, as we age, our teeth also weaken from all the years of chewing, biting and grinding. Even if you don’t have any serious dental problems, you are still at a risk of tooth loss because it does come with age. That’s the reason why seniors need dentures. Harsh truth but that’s the cycle of life. It’s not something to dread though. Because of dental technology and techniques innovations, it’s now possible to permanently restore teeth with dental implants. Dental implants are permanently lodged into your jaw, making them durable, strong and long-lasting. They look and feel like natural teeth and restores function completely.
Oral cancer is the deadliest dental problem one can encounter. Oral cancer is considered to be a head and neck cancer. It starts with a small pinkish growth in the mouth. It’s unlikely to be noticed since our mouths don’t innately have smooth surfaces and are naturally pink or reddish in color. Which is why a visit to your dentist will help. Oral cancer is commonly caused by smoking.
Dentists know what to look out for on regular checkups and would be able to recommend further testing if needed.
Bad breath (halitosis)
Bad breath is a common problem that can affect anyone at any age. About one in four people are thought to have bad breath (halitosis) on a regular basis. Improving your oral hygiene is usually enough to cure bad breath and stop it happening again, (see section on ‘how to help prevent dental problems’).
A dental abscess is a collection of pus that forms in your teeth or gums. It forms as the result of a bacterial infection. Anyone with teeth can develop a dental abscess, children and adults are equally affected. You should see a dentist as soon as possible if you think you have a dental abscess.
Metallic taste in mouth
A metallic taste in the mouth is not usually serious and can be a symptom of many different things. Treatment will depend on the cause. You should only see your doctor if the taste doesn’t go away or if there is no obvious cause.
Mouth ulcers are painful sores that appear in the mouth. Although uncomfortable, they’re usually harmless and most clear up by themselves. They are common and can usually be managed at home, without seeing your dentist P. Visit your pharmacist first, unless your ulcer has lasted longer than three weeks.
Sore or painful tongue
A sore or painful tongue is usually caused by something obvious and visible. There are a few less obvious causes that may need treating. See your GP or dentist if you have persistent pain and you haven’t accidentally bitten or burnt your tongue.
Dry mouth can be a symptom of many different problems and can happen as you get older. Quite often it is a side effect of medication – especially heart, blood pressure and depression tablets. If you have a dry mouth, this can be very uncomfortable and it can make eating certain foods very difficult.
Many prescription medicines can cause a dry mouth, if you are taking any regular medication from your doctor, it may be worth discussing these symptoms with him to see if there is an alternative that does not have the same side effects. If you think that you are suffering with a dry mouth, you should discuss this with your dental team. They may recommend one of the many products that are available over-the-counter to help to alleviate this problem.
visit your dentist
dentist will also take a full medical history to make sure that they are fully aware of any illnesses or medication that you may be taking and they can then treat you safely.
The dentist will then carry out a full check-up and chart all of your teeth and previous treatment, they will also assess the condition of your gums and your general oral hygiene. They may also take diagnostic x-rays.
If you need to have any dental treatment, your dentist will discuss this with you. They may give you a treatment plan and tell you what the cost is going to be. You can make any further appointments as necessary.
All of these common dental problems can be prevented and kept at bay with very simple day-to-day oral hygiene measures. Brushing in the morning and before bed alone won’t be enough to make sure your oral health is on tip top shape.
Much like everything else, you have to spend some money on your dental needs. Pay your dentist a visit regularly. Get your teeth checked and cleaned on a regular basis as well. These might be simple steps but you lessen the chances of you getting dental problems that can lead to something worse.
Aside from these, limit your intake of foods that will contribute to the buildup of plaque on your teeth like the following:
- Sweets – hard or soft candies, caramel, chocolate, cookies, etc.
- Carbonated drinks – they’re very high in sugar which bacteria feeds off of
- Snacks – most store-bought snacks have loads of sugar, sodium and other preservatives that are harmful to your teeth enamel
If you’ve been smoking for a while now, you might want to start decreasing your nicotine intake. Smoking leads not only to teeth stains but can lead to oral, throat and lung cancer as well. If you don’t smoke, keep it that way.
brush and floss
practice a healthy dental habit as well. Expand to more than just brushing your teeth in the morning and before bed. Include flossing every other day and gargling with mouthwash after you brush to help get rid of bacteria.
And, as basic as this sound, drink more water. Water helps keep your mouth hydrated and clean. Also, use a toothpaste brand that’s high in fluoride. That will help strengthen the enamel around your teeth!