To help you stay on top of your dental health, we’re breaking down the top ten most common dental problems, and the ways you can help prevent them.
Cavities are one of the most prevalent dental problems. Cavities occur when plaque builds up and remains on the teeth for too long, leading to decay. Cavities can be prevented by regular brushing and flossing to break down plaque. Avoiding foods and beverages with high amounts of sugar, and opting for a healthier diet also helps to prevent tooth decay. Visiting Ashley Dental twice a year helps us to catch tooth decay early, allowing us to fill any cavities and prevent the decay from advancing to a root canal.
2. Root Infection
Root infection occurs when tooth decay advances beyond the typical cavity. When tooth decay develops past the point of no return, the root of the tooth becomes infected, and frequently requires a root canal. If you’re in need of a root canal, there’s nothing to fear. Root canals are very common procedures that will help ease any tooth pain that you may be experiencing.
3. Gum Disease
Gum disease primarily falls within one of two categories: gingivitis and periodontal disease. Gingivitis is early gum disease. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Fortunately, gum disease at this stage is easily reversible with better daily dental hygiene. It’s important to treat gingivitis early so it doesn’t develop into the second category of gum disease: periodontal disease. Periodontal disease begins in the gums, but can quickly advance to infect the structures around the teeth. Periodontal disease is common, and is found in about 8 out of every 10 adults. Once gum disease has developed into periodontal disease professional treatment, such as root planing or antibiotics, may become necessary.
4. Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is typically curable if diagnosed and treated in early stages, but unfortunately it is estimated by the Oral Cancer Foundation that someone dies from oral cancer every hour of every day. While there are a variety of causes, most research suggests that tobacco and alcohol use contributes to certain risk factors. Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer, but as with most dental problems, prevention will always be less costly and painful than treatment.
5. Mouth Sores
Though mouth sores can be annoying, they’re typically harmless unless they last longer than two weeks. Rinsing your mouth with salt water can be an at-home remedy for the common canker sore. Cold sores and fever blisters are typically symptoms of the HSV-1 virus, a very common virus that also does not usually require treatment. HSV-1 is so common that nearly everyone has the virus inside their body by the time they reach age ten, though not everyone will show symptoms.
6. Tooth Erosion
Though you’ve probably heard of tooth decay, tooth erosion is just as common, but not as widely discussed. Tooth erosion is caused by acids attacking the enamel on our teeth, making them more prone to sensitivity and cracking. Once enamel is destroyed, it doesn’t grow back, so it’s important to use an enamel protecting toothpaste and to try and avoid highly acidic food and drinks.
7. Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is linked to tooth erosion, and can cause pain and discomfort while eating, drinking, or even breathing! Cold air may cause pain for sensitive teeth in addition to cold or hot foods and beverages, or anything that’s too sweet. Treatments for sensitivity can vary depending on the severity of your sensitivity. At home remedies include using specialty toothpastes and eating foods like bananas that can help fill the tiny cracks that contribute to sensitivity.
8. Bad Breath
Bad breath can be caused by a variety of factors. Common dental problems like cavities and dry mouth can result in bad breath. A routine trip to the dentist can help solve these issues. Dry mouth may require a prescription mouthwash, but can also commonly be treated by drinking water or chewing sugar free gum to help promote saliva production. More serious causes of bad breath include gum disease and oral cancer, so it’s always best to visit us at Ashley Dental to ensure the health of your teeth and gums.
9. Tooth Crowding
Tooth crowding is a very common dental problem that is typically treated by an orthodontist through the use of braces. Tooth crowding is more than just an aesthetic problem, as it can also lead to problems with jaw misalignment that could lead to surgery in the future.
10. Tooth Loss
If common dental problems such as tooth decay and periodontal disease are left untreated, they can ultimately result in tooth loss. Even if you don’t experience any serious dental problems, it’s still common to lose teeth with age. If this occurs, the only treatments available are dental implants or dentures. Dental implants are durable and long lasting, while dentures are quicker and more affordable.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of these common oral problems, call us today at (843) 767-2600. Our staff can work with you to find the right treatment plan for you!