In today’s busy modern world, we don’t think much about our teeth and what they do for us, despite the fact they’re always hard at work; biting, tearing, chewing, chatting, and smiling away. So, we need to take good care of our mouths, just as they do us. Sometimes, however, dental problems can still arise, no matter how hard we try. But don’t worry – that’s perfectly natural.
After all, our mouths are technically a living thing. Regardless, you should always be on the lookout for warning signs that something is wrong with your teeth and be proactive about getting them checked with your local dentist. As such, today, we’re going to be looking at some of the common dental problems, how you can spot them, and what you should do about treating them.
1.) Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is the most common problem that dentists will treat. It happens to everyone at least once in their lifetime – unless they uphold impeccable oral hygiene. Tooth decay is also known as a dental cavity. It happens because of a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque eventually converts sugars into acids, which then eat away at the enamel, leading to holes forming on the tooth.
If you are suffering from tooth decay, you will likely experience pain when you eat and drink sweet, hot, or cold things. You might also have bad breath and see black/brown spots growing on your teeth. There could be an unpleasant taste in your mouth, too. Don’t leave the cavity untreated because you might develop infection later down the line.
Unfortunately, there is no way to regrow your tooth once decay has occurred. The only thing to do is to visit the dentist. They will remove the cavity for you and then implant a filling. To prevent tooth decay from happening again, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Flossing is also crucial to prevent plaque from building in between your teeth. Regular check-ups with the dentist are an absolute necessity, too. We recommend avoiding sugary foods, as well.
2.) Gum Disease
The scientific name for gum disease is periodontitis. It is essentially a bacterial infection that results from – you guessed it – a build-up of plaque in the mouth. Gum disease can seriously damage your gums’ soft tissue and decay the bone that supports your teeth if left untreated. What’s more, it might cause your teeth to become loose or fall out altogether.
Fortunately, gum disease is relatively easy to spot. The symptoms of periodontitis include bleeding gums, red and swollen gums, plus bad breath. Your teeth will feel sensitive, and chewing food will be very painful. Your gums might even recede, making your teeth appear longer than usual.
So, how does one go about treating gum disease? Well, for starters, you need to visit your dentist. They will be able to provide immediate treatment for the underlying infections. Sometimes they might prescribe antibiotics. Other times they might send you to a dental hygienist – this all depends on the type and extent of the infection. To prevent gum disease from occurring in the first place, you should brush and floss your teeth thoroughly, at least twice per day. Smokers might also want to give up the habit. Professional cleaning from your dental practice will help, too.
3.) Root Infection
Root infections, more commonly referred to as tooth infections, are when your tooth’s base (or root) becomes infected and begins swelling up with bacteria. Eventually, root infections lead to your tooth’s nerves and tissue becoming damaged, and abscesses will eventually form if the condition is left untreated. Cavities, cracks, and fractures of the tooth are usually what leads to root infection.
It should be evident if you have a root infection. Firstly, you will suffer from a chronic toothache that feels as though it’s throbbing. The area will feel very sensitive to hot and cold substances, plus chewing and biting will be painful. You might see facial swellings where the infected area is, too.
To cure a tooth infection, you will need root canal treatment. These treatments have a bad reputation, but they are perfectly safe in reality, and dentists will use an anesthetic whilst performing the procedure. As such, there is nothing to stop you from seeking the help that you need. To protect your teeth from another root infection, you should upkeep the acceptable dental practices we have talked about several times before.
4.) Enamel Erosion
Enamel erosion is insidious, occurring over a long period. You will see the surface of your teeth degrade, becoming round and discolored. It occurs because of excessive consumption of sugary and acidic foods – predominantly, fizzy drinks and sweets. On rare occasions, overbrushing your teeth can be a cause.
As we mentioned before, enamel erosion is slightly more difficult to spot than other dental problems because the damage happens gradually. However, there are still warning signs you can look out for when you’re checking your teeth or overall health. Firstly, you might notice that you feel a twinge of pain in your tooth when eating things (like sweets) or consuming food/beverages that are hot and cold. Discoloration or severe sensitivity are other signs. Cracks, chips, and cupping are also more likely to occur because your teeth get weakened over time.
There isn’t anything you can do to restore the enamel once it is eroded, though you could seek out cosmetic treatments, such as dental veneers. These can help cover up the discoloration and uneven appearance of your teeth following the erosion. However, the best way to treat enamel degradation is to limit your intake of sugary and acidic drinks. This includes wine, fizzy beverages, fruit juice, ectara. Some dentists might also recommend using a toothbrush with softer bristles.
These are the most common dental problems and how to treat them. Make sure to book your next check-up with our clinic and ensure you’re upkeeping a high standard of oral hygiene.