In our last blog post, we discussed five common conditions and diseases of the mouth and gums. This week we’d like to discuss five common conditions and diseases of the teeth. Just like issues in the mouth and gums, many of these problems can be diagnosed by your dentist. In addition, your dentist can help treat the issues, and even help you prevent them in the future.
Cavities are the number one cause for toothaches and pain in the mouth. Cavities, also called tooth decay, are damaged areas in the enamel of your teeth. The decay causes holes to form in the tooth, and if left untreated, the holes continue to get bigger and go deeper into the tooth. This is why people suffering from cavities begin to experience pain in the damaged tooth. If identified early enough, your dentist can help minimize the pain and repair the damaged tooth by filling in the hole. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to visit your dentist twice a year for a routine checkup and cleaning; your dentist will be able to identify any trouble areas and help you prevent cavities from ever forming.
Teeth grinding is a common condition for people, especially during sleep. If you wake up with a sore jaw, toothaches, and headaches, you may be grinding your teeth in the night. Experts don’t know all the reasons why people struggle with teeth grinding, but some of the main causes appear to be stress and anxiety, sleep issues, and even some medications. Because teeth grinding often happens while you are asleep, it can sometimes be hard to recognize. This is where your dentist will be very helpful. By examining your teeth and jaw, she will be able to help you identify if you are grinding your teeth and may suggest wearing a nightguard to prevent damage to your teeth and relieve pain.
There are many reasons for tooth loss, from decay to injuries. When people are missing teeth, it can cause social anxiety and embarrassment and can make eating certain types of food difficult. If you are suffering from tooth loss, there are options for you. If you are only missing one or two teeth, your dentist may recommend dental bridges which connect a prosthetic tooth to your other teeth. Another option if you’re only missing one or two teeth are dental implants. As opposed to bridges that are cemented onto your teeth, implants are replacement teeth that are surgically implanted into the jawbone. Finally, if you are missing multiple teeth, dentures may be your best treatment plan. Dentures are replacement teeth that can be taken out and put back in.
Tooth sensitivity is a very common condition for many adults. If you experience pain in your teeth when you eat or drink certain things—usually very hot, cold, or acidic foods and drinks—then you may have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity can be caused by worn tooth enamel, as well as gum recession. In addition to visiting your dentist twice a year for a routine checkup and cleaning, you can help treat and prevent tooth sensitivity at home by practicing good oral hygiene. Brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing once a day will keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong and prevent them from becoming sensitive.
Wisdom teeth are the last permanent teeth to come in, usually between the ages of 16 and 25. Because wisdom teeth come in so late, there is usually not enough room for them to grow in properly and they can cause many problems for the rest of your teeth. From overcrowding to damaging nearby teeth, when your dentist identifies wisdom teeth coming in, he will more than likely recommend they be removed. It is important to identify this early to avoid potential problems for your other teeth.
These common conditions and diseases of the teeth can cause pain and discomfort, but your dentist can help you diagnose, treat, and even prevent these problems. If you think you may be suffering from any of these conditions, we would love to help you at Cornerstone Family Dentistry, so make an appointment with us today!