For being relatively small, the mouth is a complex body part. With approximately 32 teeth, 3,000 taste buds, and glands that produce anywhere from .5-1.5 liters of saliva a day, the mouth stays busy and is exceedingly important to our general wellbeing. This is why even small issues in the mouth can become life-altering struggles if we’re not careful. Today we are going to discuss the five most common dental issues we see on any given day, and some of the steps you can take to fix these problems.
Cavities are probably the most common dental issue we see. In fact, the CDC reports that up to 90% of adults will have at least one cavity in their lifetime. Cavities form when plaque builds up on your teeth and wears away enamel, which is your tooth’s outer protective layer. Without enamel, bacteria slowly travel deeper into your tooth, moving on to the part of your tooth called dentin which protects the center of your tooth. Eventually, as the decay continues, plaque will enter the inner tooth, called the pulp. This is where the nerves and blood vessels live, and this is when a cavity becomes extremely swollen and painful. If you have a cavity, the dentist will likely recommend getting a filling, which is a quick and easy procedure that involves the dentist drilling out the decay in the tooth and filling in the hole.
Gingivitis is another common dental issue that we see regularly. This treatable disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and results in irritation and swelling at the base of your teeth. Left untreated, gingivitis can turn into a more serious disease called periodontitis which can lead to tooth loss. Gingivitis can be easily detected by your dentist or dental hygienist, so if you are visiting your dentist for a routine checkup and cleaning every six months, gingivitis will be detected early. If your gums are often sore and tender or you notice bleeding every time you floss, you may have gingivitis.
- Bad Breath
At some point everyone has bad breath, especially if you just woke up or have eaten certain foods. But if you notice you have bad breath all throughout the day, this can become a frustrating and embarrassing dental issue. The most common explanation of chronic bad breath is that your mouth isn’t producing enough saliva. This is a condition called Dry Mouth. Before you even brush or floss, your saliva has been helping to clean your mouth by rinsing off dead cells that can accumulate on the teeth, tongue, and gums. If you aren’t producing enough saliva, your mouth won’t get the rinse it needs, thus leaving odor-producing bacteria in your mouth and causing bad breath. Dry Mouth can be the result of many things, such as certain medications and some illnesses. There are some things you can do to help combat Dry Mouth, such as chewing sugar-free gum and drinking plenty of water.
If you experience discomfort when you eat very hot or very cold foods, you probably have sensitive teeth. There can be a number of reasons people suffer from sensitive teeth. Some people develop sensitive teeth when the enamel that protects teeth starts getting thinner, others notice their teeth becoming more sensitive when their gums begin to recede. Having sensitive teeth can be early warning signs of something more serious, like cavities or gingivitis, so it’s important that your dentist helps you figure out the underlying reason for the sensitivity.
- Crooked Teeth
Teeth come in all shapes and sizes, but there is a good chance once a person’s adult teeth have fully grown in, they won’t be straight. While crooked teeth usually don’t cause physical discomfort, many people feel less confident in their smile when their teeth are crooked. Fortunately, there are several different kinds of orthodontic braces that can help straighten out teeth. In addition to feeling more confident in your smile, there are other benefits to straightening out crooked teeth, including making it much easier to clean all areas of your teeth and preventing a misaligned jaw.
While there are a number of problems that can arise in your mouth, the good news is that all five of these common dental issues can be quickly identified and easily treated by your dentist. This is why, in addition to good dental hygiene, it is crucial that you visit your dentist for a checkup and professional cleaning every six months. At Cornerstone Family Dentistry, we can help you with anything from tooth sensitivity, pain or discomfort, and even helping you get that beautifully straight smile you’ve always wanted. Please make an appointment with us today!