There are many common dental problems that individuals everywhere face. They can be genetic or influences by our habits, such as not brushing twice a day or practicing healthy habits such as eating well, getting enough sleep, etc.
Here are 14 common dental problems and solutions :
1. Bad Breath
Also called halitosis, bad breath affects billions around the world. According to dental studies, up to 85% of bad breath sufferers have some kind of dental condition causing it. These include gum disease, oral cancer, cavities, dry mouth, and bacteria on the tongue. The most common cause is bacteria on the tongue. Bacteria get embedded in the tongue and they live there in layers. These bacteria eat the food left in your mouth, releasing a foul-smelling odor.
This can be fixed by brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash regularly. Beyond this, adopt the habit of brushing your tongue. If the bad breath does not improve, consider making an appointment with your dentist. A visit with a dentist could determine whether you suffer from a totally different dental issue like gum disease, oral cancer, cavities, or dry mouth.
2. Oral Cancer
It’s estimated that every hour of every day, someone in the United States dies of oral cancer. Over three-hundred-thousand new cases are reported around the world each year. This serious dental disease is found primarily found around the mouth, lips, and throat. Thankfully, oral cancer is extremely curable when caught and diagnosed in its early stages. Oral cancer usually starts as a small red or white spot on the soft tissue inside of your mouth. Other symptoms of oral cancer include:
- A hard or thick spot or lump
- Sores that don’t heal or bleed easily
- Pain, tender spots, or a numb feeling
- A rough or crusty area
- Feeling that your teeth fit together wrong when you bite down
To best prevent oral cancer, schedule regular checkups with your dentist. Dentists and dental assistants are trained to spot oral cancer in its early stages.
3. Tooth Erosion
Tooth erosion occurs when the outside of the tooth is attacked by acids, causing the enamel to become weak and potentially break away. Many things can contribute to the erosion of your teeth, one of the more common reasons being allowing too many acidic drinks to make contact with the teeth. Erosion occurs particularly in people with bulimia, where the stomach acid causes the erosion of enamel. This can result in a multitude of problems, ranging anywhere from minor things, such as ultrasensitivity of the teeth, to more severe, such as cracking and dissolving of the tooth enamel all-together.
To keep your teeth from eroding, here a few tips and suggestions you can take into consideration the next time your teeth encounter an acidic substance :
- Rinse your mouth out with water
- Wait an hour before brushing your teeth to allow them to remineralize
- Use a soft toothbrush what
- Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride
- Chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva flow and encourage your teeth to remineralize
And above all, the most you can do to prevent erosion is to keep your teeth from coming into contact with acid to begin with. You can do this by using a straw when drinking carbonated beverages and other sweet drinks, not allowing the drinks to sit or be swished around in your mouth, or just by cutting back on carbonated beverages altogether and replacing them with water, milk, or tea.
4. Mouth Sores
Mouth sores come in many different forms, from canker sores to ulcers to herpes. Most will last no more than two weeks, so letting them run their course and disappear on their own is the best you could do. However, if you have a sore that lingers longer than it should, you may want to consider treatment. One such treatment is by laser, which takes about 15 minutes to conduct, while another treatment would be taking L-Lysine daily.
5. Unattractive Smile
While not medically considered a “dental problem,” having an unattractive smile can still be a real problem for those unhappy with their smile and wishing to make changes to it. It’s the main reason many patients today seek dental treatment, in hopes of repairing their teeth and their grin.
With today’s technologies, anyone can solve their unattractive smile problem and give themselves a gorgeous smile and higher self-esteem. Many treatments are offered that can positively affect your smile in simple and major ways, including:
- Teeth whitening
- Dental implants
- Teeth shaping
- Tooth bonding
All of these can be taken advantage of to ensure you’re beaming beautifully.
6. Tooth Decay
Unlike tooth erosion, tooth decay occurs from the inside out. More commonly referred to as cavities, the decaying of the teeth is the second most prevalent disease in the United States and occurs when plaque combines with the sugars and starches from food. This produces an enamel fighting acid that will live in the spaces hard to reach in the teeth.
Your best solution for preventing tooth decay? Keep up good oral hygiene, including brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and going for dental checkups regularly. Cutting down on food with high sugars can also help to prevent decay. However, neglecting your teeth can result in you needing to consider a crown, filing, or perhaps even a root canal.
7. Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is a very common problem because it has so many possible causes. Often it means that your gums have receded and the roots to the teeth are exposed. Since roots are very porous, the resulting air or liquids that pass through can stimulate nerves at the center of the tooth and cause that sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity can be treated if the cause is minor. However, if the pain is too much to bear or you find that it lasts for a long period of time, you’ll want to consider a dental checkup. After that, the next course of action could be anything from applying fluoride to fixing a cracked tooth.
8. Gum Disease
Gum disease may not sound scary, but besides being the leading cause of tooth loss among adults, it has also been found to be linked to heart attacks and strokes. Appearing in two stages, either gingivitis or periodontitis, gum disease is an infection of the gums that surround the teeth brought on by either poor oral hygiene, smoking, or unfortunate genetic susceptibility. The result can be deteriorating gums that can lead to detachment from the teeth, resulting in pockets that fill with bacteria that leads to new complications. Gum disease is also one of the most common of the dental diseases.
The best you can do to prevent gum disease would be to continue good oral hygiene practices and staying away from smoking. Other preventive measures one can includes deep cleaning, which would include scraping the tartar from below the gums, prescription antibiotics, mouthwashes, and possible surgery.
Perhaps the most well-known of all symptoms for oral health problems would be the toothache. Like an alarm ringing in your mouth, it alerts you to your teeth and can be caused by any of the problems mentioned on the list.
For the most part, just as many of the problems, maintaining the health and hygiene of your mouth can help to prevent toothaches, and alongside regular dental checkup, you should be able to avoid having to deal with the toothache at all.
10. Tooth Grinding
Tooth grinding is one of the most disastrous oral habits out there. Also known as bruxism, tooth grinding is most common in adults and terribly destructive to teeth. Over time, tooth grinding causes teeth to be short and blunt, with the grinder often getting jaw problems as a result. The most common causes of bruxism are misaligned teeth and stress.
Orthodontic dentistry can correct alignment, but is expensive and can take years depending on severity. One option is to use a custom-fit grind guard, to protect your teeth. These are mostly used at night. Finally, physical therapy and daily relaxation techniques can be used to lower stress and cut down on teeth grinding.
Cavities are little pockets of tooth decay caused by bacteria on your teeth feeding on the starch and sugar left over from your meals. Cavities can cause bad breath, tooth loss, gingivitis, and plenty of other things. They work in three stages: pre-cavity, early decay, and deep decay. The pre-cavity stage is basically just a divot the bacteria carve into your enamel, making it harder to brush them away.
In the early decay stage, the bacteria have dug that divot deeper, breaking through the outer layer of your teeth and into the sensitive middle. The deep decay stage is when your tooth starts dying, as the bacteria have made their way to the center of your tooth, where it is most sensitive. All cavities can be avoided by brushing, flossing, and making regular appointments with the dentist.
12. Wisdom Teeth
Some people need their wisdom teeth removed as teens. Some people don’t need them removed, as they have the space in their jaw to accommodate the extra teeth. Some people don’t even have wisdom teeth to begin with. Wisdom teeth are these extra teeth that grow in during the mid-to-late teens. If your jaw can’t support them, they only grow in halfway, leading to infection. If experiencing terrible pain or infection at the back corners of your mouth, see a dentist immediately, especially if you still have your wisdom teeth. The sooner they’re removed, the easier recovery will be.
13. Dry Mouth
You don’t want a dry mouth. Not only is it uncomfortable and annoying, but it’s also one of the contributing factors to bad breath and tooth decay. A simple drink of water should cure most dry mouths. If that doesn’t work, keep a water bottle with you, and take a sip whenever you feel your mouth drying up.
If this does not work, your dry mouth could be the result of a medication’s side effect or some underlying condition. Check your medications for a dry mouth side effect, and meet with your doctor about it. Additionally, it would be a good idea to check in with your dentist, and make sure that your teeth didn’t decay too much from your dry mouth. People using certain oral inhalers also tend to develop dry mouths. If this is the case, be sure to rinse your mouth after each use of the inhaler.
14. Missing Teeth
Let’s face it, no one likes missing teeth. Not the people missing them for sure. Unfortunately, the average adult has two or more decayed or missing teeth. For some, this is unpreventable without costly procedures like gum transplants. Additionally, there may be hereditary tooth weakness that makes them fall out more easily. For most, however, a decayed or missing tooth is perfectly preventable. It’s as simple as brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash two to three times a day. You should also schedule regular checkups with your dentist.
Besides the way they look, missing teeth can mess up your mouth in all sorts of ways, They can affect the way you chew, cause other teeth to shift around, some people even suffer partial bone loss due to a missing tooth. This doesn’t have to be the case thanks to today’s advances. Some popular options include :
- Dentures – Usually used if you’ve lost all or most of your teeth
- Bridges – These are false teeth, usually in small groups or singles, which are anchored to adjacent teeth similar to an orthodontic retainer
- Implants – Single tooth replicas modelled after the original tooth which is designed to fit right into the old spot
The best thing you can do to prevent most dental problems and diseases is to brush your teeth and floss twice a day, along with attending your regular dental checkups. Make sure to practice healthy habits for better oral health and a brighter smile. With the right care, you can fight most dental diseases.