Dental problems are a common issue that many people have to deal with. When you’re experiencing issues with your teeth, it can be hard to know where to turn to for help. Luckily, you can reach out and consult with a dentist near you for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Prevention is better than cure. It’s better to know if you’re experiencing any oral-related issues now so that early treatment can be carried out. Wondering what are some of the most common dental problems that afflict a large number of individuals? Read below to learn more.
- Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems. It can occur at any age and can lead to serious health consequences if left untreated by your dentist.
What is tooth decay? It’s a breakdown of the tooth enamel due to the accumulation of bacteria on the surface of your teeth. Bacteria produce acids that attack the enamel and cause decay, which starts at the outer layer of your tooth and slowly works its way inside your tooth.
The main culprits of tooth decay are sugar and starches, which are found in many foods you eat daily. When these foods are consumed frequently, they give the bacteria on your teeth an opportunity to produce acid and eat away at your enamel.
Gingivitis is a condition that causes the gums to become inflamed and irritated. You may notice red, swollen, and bleeding gums if you have gingivitis.
Your mouth has millions of bacteria that are usually harmless. Nevertheless, they can cause trouble when they’re allowed to grow unchecked in your mouth. Bacteria produce plaque, a sticky substance that adheres to your teeth and builds up along the gum line.
Plaque is made up of food particles and saliva, so it isn’t visible until it turns into tartar or calcified deposits on the teeth.
- Mouth Sores
Mouth sore is one of the most common dental problems, affecting people of all ages. A mouth sore can be caused by various factors like eating spicy food, biting your cheek or tongue, tooth decay, or gum disease. They can be caused by many things, including:
- Infection: An infection in the mouth can cause a sore on your tongue or gums. Bacteria or a virus might cause the condition.
- Allergies: Some foods and other substances, such as toothpaste, may cause an allergic reaction that causes your mouth to become inflamed.
- Stress: Stress can lead to dry mouth syndrome, in which there’s less saliva produced in the mouth than usual. This can cause mouth sores or worsen if you already have them.
- Medications: Some medications, including antibiotics, birth control pills, and steroids, can cause mouth sores if taken over long periods or if they’re taken at high doses.
Mouth sores can be painful and irritating for you, yet they’re also a sign that there’s something wrong with your oral health. They often occur when there’s an infection in the gums or mouth tissue. It’s important to visit your dentist as soon as possible if you have a mouth sore, as it could lead to other more serious conditions if left untreated.
- Enamel Erosion
The enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth that protects them from decay and erosion. Once you lose it, you can’t get it back.
Enamel erosion refers to the gradual wearing away of this protective layer of your teeth. It can happen on any tooth surface, but it’s most common on the biting surfaces of your molars.
Enamel erosion can affect anyone, but it’s more likely to affect those who have other health issues or who take certain medications. This occurs when they come into contact with acidic foods and beverages. The acid causes a chemical reaction that dissolves the enamel and dentin, the second layer of your teeth, underneath. If left untreated, this can lead to tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and even tooth loss.
- Impacted Teeth
Impacted teeth are caused when a tooth is unable to erupt into its normal position in the mouth because it is blocked by other teeth, bone, or gum tissue. It can occur in any tooth but is most commonly found in the upper jaw (maxillary), below the eye (mandibular), and on the roof of the mouth (palatine).
Impacted teeth can be caused by:
- An improper bite, which prevents a tooth from erupting into its normal position;
- A genetic disorder that causes an extra bone to grow around a developing tooth, blocking it from erupting into its normal position;
- Trauma to a young child’s mouth, which may damage developing teeth or prevent them from growing normally;
- Tumors that cause abnormal bone growth around developing teeth; and the like.
If you have an impacted tooth, this can cause problems later on in life because it may cause your other teeth to shift out of alignment or even become damaged by the pressure from the impacted tooth.
Periodontitis is a severe and potentially destructive dental disease that affects the tissue surrounding the teeth. It’s characterized by inflammation of the gums and bone that supports the teeth and can cause the teeth to loosen and fall out if left untreated.
Periodontitis often occurs due to poor oral hygiene, but it can be linked to genetics, smoking, and other factors as well.
While periodontitis can affect anyone, it’s most common among adults over age 30. The disease progresses slowly over time, so you may not notice any symptoms until your teeth start to shift or become loose in your mouth.
Treatment of periodontitis generally involves scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), which removes plaque built up on your teeth, and sometimes surgery to repair bone loss around the affected area.
Bruxism is an oral condition that causes the teeth to clench or grind together while sleeping. It’s often called ‘teeth grinding’ or ‘tooth clenching,’ yet these terms are inaccurate because they don’t accurately describe the condition.
Bruxism occurs when a person unconsciously moves their jaw muscles during sleep, causing the lower teeth to rub against the upper teeth. This can also happen when you’re awake, especially if you hold stress in your jaw muscles.
Now that you know these common problems, it’s time to take action. Don’t let your teeth and gums suffer. Get in touch with a dentist today. The sooner you do so, the easier it’ll be on your teeth and gums.