26 Jun 8 Common Dental Issues
Teeth are put through a lot of strain with everyday biting, chewing, grinding, talking, and aging. To stay strong and healthy, they need regular TLC. This means brushing and flossing daily, and twice-yearly checkups and cleanings. Yet, even with excellent oral care, dental issues still occur sometimes. Read on to learn more about some of the most common dental issues we see here at Hicks Dental Group in Prescott.
1. Bad Breath
Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, can be an embarrassing condition. But it can also signal that something other than just maintaining good oral hygiene is going on. Halitosis can be caused by gum disease, cavities, oral cancer, dry mouth, and bacteria on the tongue. Using mouthwash to cover up bad breath when a dental problem is present will only mask the odor and allow the underlying conditions to progress. If you have chronic bad breath, visit us to rule out any of these underlying dental issues.
2. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay occurs when plaque reacts with the sugars and/or starches of the food you eat. This combination produces acids that attack and weaken tooth enamel, the protective layer of your teeth. Cavities develop as your tooth enamel erodes. Dry mouth due to age or medications can also lead to cavities.
The most effective way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and going to your twice-yearly dental check-ups. Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar also help prevent cavities.
3. Gum (Periodontal) Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums surrounding the teeth. It is one of the main causes of tooth loss among adults. The two major stages of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. It’s typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow plaque to build up on the teeth and harden into tartar. Regular dental check-ups along with brushing at least twice a day and flossing are important steps to prevent gum disease. You should see your dentist if you have any signs of gum disease.
4. Mouth Sores
One of the main causes (or triggers) of mouth sores is emotional stress. Mouth sores can be extremely painful and even embarrassing. There are two common kinds of mouth sores:
- Canker sores—(or ulcers) They arise on the inside or outside of the mouth, and are generally caused by stress. However, there can be other causes like hormone changes, allergies, or nutritional deficiencies.
- Cold sores—fluid-filled sores, typically break out on the lips, and are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Cold sores can only be triggered by stress if you already have the herpes virus.
5. Enamel Erosion
Enamel erosion, or loss, occurs when food, drink, and other elements erode the hard outer layer of your teeth. This outer layer is very important because it protects your teeth against cavities and tooth decay. Even though tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body—even stronger than bone—some wear and tear is inevitable. Because tooth enamel cannot be regrown, it is vitally important to minimize this breakdown through preventative care of your teeth.
6. Tooth Sensitivity
The hard enamel serves to protect the softer underlying layer of dentin. So when the enamel wears down, the dentin is exposed and sensitivity to extreme temperatures occurs. Dentin contains tubules which are tiny channels that lead to the center of the tooth, where the nerve is located. Gum recession, cavities, and root erosion can also cause the dentin to be exposed. Sensitivity, or dentin hypersensitivity (DH), is characterized by a sharp, sudden, painful reaction when the teeth are exposed to hot or cold, a chemical, or touch, not caused by a known dental condition. There are many different causes of DH, some of which can be serious, so be sure to let us know if you are experiencing any sensitivity.
If you have continuous tooth pain, it could be a result of a number of dental issues. For this reason, you should give us a call right away. In the meantime, swish with warm water to help alleviate the pain and to dislodge anything that may be stuck between your teeth causing the pain. Then apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth over the painful area. Causes of toothaches include:
- Gum disease
- Exposed roots
- Tooth abscess
- Chipped tooth
- Impacted tooth
8. Unattractive Smile
While this isn’t necessarily a dental problem, it is one of the most common reasons we see patients. Your smile is a huge part of how you form a first impression, both in your personal and professional life. Believe it or not, smiling also has many physical and mental health benefits. So helping you have pearly whites that you feel good about showing off is one of our passions. With our cosmetic dentistry services, we can treat:
- Tooth gaps
- Stained teeth
- Oddly-shaped teeth
- Uneven gum tissue
- Missing teeth
- Chips and surface cracks
- Updating metal amalgam fillings
Give us a Call
Dental issues are never ideal, but the good news is that most of them can be easily prevented. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, eating properly, and regular dental check-ups are essential steps in preventing dental problems. If you are experiencing any of these issues, be sure to let us know right away. We will set up an appointment for you to check for any underlying problems or to restore your confidence in your smile. We look forward to giving you a beautiful and healthy smile.