Lots of us neglect our teeth until it is too late. We wait until we have a problem when prevention is far better than having to find a cure. By brushing our teeth every morning and night, flossing, watching what we eat, and attending regular dental check-up appointments, we can minimize the likelihood that we will develop dental problems. However, in some cases, even people with the best dental hygiene can run into complications. Aside from the many people who visit their dentists for cosmetic dentistry, which improves their smile, here are the seven most common dental problems with tips on preventing and treating them.
- Tooth Decay or Erosion
The sugar and starch in the food we eat interacts with the sticky plaque on our teeth, producing acid, leading to the decaying of the enamel. This causes cavities in the teeth and can happen to people of any age. Certain medications and conditions can make some people more susceptible to tooth decay, while good dental hygiene while avoiding fizzy drinks and sugary food and drink can help to prevent tooth decay.
- Tooth Sensitivity
Many people have sensitivity when they eat hot or cold foods and drinks, or even when they feel cold air on their teeth. For some, it is so extreme that brushing and flossing can be painful. Sensitivity can be caused by a range of problems such as exposed nerves, cracked teeth, or an abscess. Sensitivity should be looked at by a dentist as soon as possible as it could be due to an infection and/or lead to tooth loss.
- Bad Breath
Having bad breath (called halitosis) no matter how much you brush your teeth or use mouthwash could be a sign of something serious such as cavities, gum disease, dry mouth, bacteria on the tongue, or even oral cancer. If you have bad breath regularly, make an appointment to see a dentist.
- Gum Disease
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums and one of the most common causes of tooth loss. It is even more serious because it has also been linked to heart disease. Gums become swollen, red, and/or start to bleed, and the teeth may feel sensitive or painful.
- Dental Emergencies
With proper care, a healthy diet, and regular check-ups, you should be able to catch small problems before they develop into dental emergencies. However, sometimes problems can appear suddenly and can be extremely painful, and accidents can happen. If you have a broken, cracked, or abscessed tooth, or you have lost a tooth in an accident, or you are experiencing severe pain, you should seek emergency dental services from Pakenham Dental Surgery.
- Mouth Sores
Most mouth sores will not last for more than one or two weeks, and you can manage the pain with over the counter medication. Aphthous ulcers appear inside the mouth and are not contagious. Cold sores appear on the outside of the mouth and are contagious as the Herpes simplex virus causes them. The symptoms can be treated, but the virus cannot be completely cured. Oral thrush or cancer can also lead to mouth sores.
- Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is found in millions of people and can be fatal. However, if detected early, oral cancer is highly curable. Oral cancer symptoms can include patches of rough skin in the mouth, sored, lumps, difficulty moving the tongue, chewing, or moving the jaw. By attending regular dental check-ups, you will give your dentist the chance to catch possible signs of cancer as early as possible.