5 Common Dental Problems and Tooth Diseases
A healthy smile helps us move through the world with confidence. Maintaining good dental hygiene and attending regular check-ups with your dentist can help prevent common dental diseases. The earlier you build those good oral hygiene habits, the less likely it is that you’ll experience tooth disease.
Here are some of the most common dental problems and tooth diseases – and how you can help prevent them.
- Cavities and tooth decay. More than half of school-aged children and almost all adults have experienced a dental cavity. Cavities occur when bacteria form a plaque on your teeth, eating away at your dental enamel until the tooth is compromised. A healthy diet, fluoridated water, and regular brushing and flossing can help reduce the risk of cavities.
- Cracked or damaged teeth. A fall, contact sports, chewing on something hard, or even grinding your teeth at night can cause teeth to crack or break. A cracked or broken tooth can count as a dental emergency – always contact your dentist if you suspect a cracked tooth. You can also prevent teeth conditions such as these by wearing a mouthguard when playing sports, being mindful when eating popcorn or nuts, or wearing a preventive mouthguard at night to prevent tooth grinding.
- Periodontitis. Also known as gum disease, periodontitis is a common dental disease. This disease is caused by the accumulation of bacteria on your teeth and gums. Over time, the bacteria damage the soft tissue of your gums, and even the bone supporting your teeth, potentially resulting in tooth loss. Factors such as smoking, diabetes, certain illnesses and poor oral hygiene can increase your risk for periodontal disease. Brushing, flossing, and attending regular dental checkups will help reduce the risk of periodontitis – or catch it in its early stages when it can be managed.
- Tooth sensitivity. If your teeth hurt when you eat cold or hot food, you are experiencing tooth sensitivity. Sensitivity can happen after dental work, but can also indicate other teeth conditions such as gum disease or compromised fillings. Additionally, some people simply have naturally sensitive teeth. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, talk to your dentist. They will check for underlying issues and may suggest products such as toothpaste and mouthwash designed for sensitive teeth.
- Oral cancer. Oral cancer is less common than other tooth diseases, but still affects millions of people every year. Symptoms include sores and lumps, changes to your bite, and difficulty chewing or eating. Smoking, drinking and HPV are key risk factors for oral cancer. If you are experiencing oral cancer symptoms, talk to your dentist. Many dentists will also screen for oral cancer as part of a routine checkup.
Whether you’re experiencing the signs of dental disease or simply want to prevent them, talk to the team at Optimal today. Our friendly dentists will help you manage existing conditions and help you develop a plan to keep your teeth and gums healthy well into the future. Contact us today to make your appointment!