Common Dental Problems and the Procedures That Fix Them

dental-problemsYour smile is one of the most distinguishing features of your body; so it's important to keep it in tiptop shape. Dental problems are pretty common because brushing, flossing and dental checkups often take a back seat in a lot of people's lives. In any case, here are some common dental problems and their corresponding fixes.

1. Bad Breath

Another name for bad breath is halitosis. If you hear this term associated with your name, it can be quite embarrassing. Bad breath is often a big turn-off in the attraction game and could drag you down if you don't address it immediately.

Bad breath is usually caused by gum disease or cavities and triggered by bacteria. Bacteria accumulate overnight if you haven't brushed and flossed thoroughly. If you only have occasional bad breath, it could be due to certain foods like garlic. Foods like garlic enter your bloodstream and cause bad breath from the inside, so mouthwash will do very little. Fortunately, the stink will go away on its own.

On the other hand, if you have chronic bad breath, it's a good idea to visit the dentist to find the cause. Halitosis could come from a wide variety of problems, from the foods you eat to internal damage of your mouth or body.

2. Cavities

Cavities are common like bad breath, but are a bit subtler - most people don't even realize that they have one until their tooth starts to ache. Cavities and halitosis share one culprit though: bacteria. Plaque forms when food particles stuck in your teeth are not removed through brushing or flossing. Bacteria then digests that food and acid is formed as a byproduct which erodes the enamel of your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing keep cavities away, and regular dental checkups keeps your overall oral health in check.

3. Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding is a common habit. It's often caused by stress and misaligned teeth. People who suffer from this can have custom plastic guards made for them for when they sleep to prevent their teeth from being grinded to nothingness. If misaligned teeth cause your teeth grinding, you may opt for braces or invisalign to correct the problem. If stress causes your teeth grinding, you may opt for various relaxation techniques to help your face, jaw, and the rest of your body to stay relaxed. If it is a child who has developed the teeth grinding issue, consult a pediatric dentist about some possible solutions.

4. Gum Disease

Bad oral hygiene, smoking, or genetics are the most common culprits in gum disease. The symptoms for these diseases usually show up between the ages of 30 to 40.

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that again, is caused by plaque. Your gums become irritated due to bacteria that thrive in the moist, dark environment of your mouth. Gingivitis is relatively common and could even be acquired by teenagers.

Periodontitis is a more dangerous form of gum disease wherein the bacteria don't only attack your gums, but also your heart and lungs.

If you have chronic bad breath coupled with sensitive teeth, and bleeding or swollen gums, you most likely have gum disease. Oftentimes, the solution to gum disease, whether it's gingivitis or periodontitis, is simply removing the plaque surrounding your teeth. Dentists often offer teeth cleaning services that thoroughly removes plaque. You may want to give it a try. Other treatments include mouthwashes and prescription antibiotics.

5. Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is one of the worst dental problems that someone might have to deal with. However, it is highly curable if treated early, so be sure to go in for your regular dental checkups and ask for an oral cancer scan if you are concerned about any irritation in your mouth.

6. Mouth Sores

Generally there are two types of mouth sores: herpes and canker sores. Herpes is very contagious and could be spread through kissing or sharing drinks. While herpes has no known cure, it is virus-based; hence it can be treated with anti-viral medications in cream or pill form. Canker sores, on the other hand, are non-virus based. It's often caused by stress, but it can also be caused by a lot of other factors. Canker sores heal on their own, usually after about 12 days. If you suffer from canker sores quite often, you may opt for a laser treatment that takes only about 15 minutes.

7. Eroding Teeth

Tooth erosion usually happens to people with bulimia, tobacco chewers, or people with poor eating habits. People with bulimia secrete acids from their stomachs that cause tooth enamel to dissolve. Any acidic foods, stomach acid, or harmful substances you put in your mouth make your teeth extra susceptible to erosion. It's a good idea to consult your doctor regarding treatment.

8. Sensitive Teeth

A lot of people have sensitive teeth to the point that special toothpastes are being produced in large numbers addressing that problem. When you have sensitive teeth, it becomes particularly painful to eat ice cream, drink shakes, coffee, and other foods with extreme temperatures. If you have sensitive teeth, visit your dentist to ensure that you don't have any exposed roots or nerves which are causing the problem.

9. Stained Teeth

Stained teeth are pretty common as the teeth often absorb some chemicals from the foods and drinks we consume. Common culprits are coffee, tea, red wine, and blueberries. Smoking also causes your teeth to corrode and lose their white shade. The common treatment for this is teeth whitening. There are professional teeth whitening treatments and even laser teeth whitening. Cheaper alternatives are whitening strips and whitening toothpastes. You may ask your dentist as to which one would suit you best.

10. Wisdom Teeth

Most people will get wisdom teeth at some point in their lives. Some people have enough space in their mouth for wisdom teeth and they come in correctly so they are just left alone. Other people who don't have space for the 3rd molars will have them removed. This is especially important if your wisdom teeth are coming in crooked or are impacted because they can cause infections or misalign your other teeth. If you're receiving regular dental checkups your dentist will be able to advise you on your wisdom teeth by observing their development via x-rays.

Dental problems are your body telling you that there's something wrong. In addition to regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups, it's important to take good care of your body so that it could serve you happily in the long run.

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