Sometimes dental issues pop up, even when we take good care of our teeth. Such oral health problems may present no symptoms; others appear as slight pain or tooth sensitivity. Still, other mouth conditions may have you rushing to the ER or emergency dentist.
The simplest way to avoid dental problems is to care for your teeth properly every day, keep up with routine check-ups and follow your dentist’s instructions. Regular professional teeth cleanings and comprehensive exams are necessary to maintain optimal oral health.
The nine most common oral health issues can sneak up on you without warning, so be aware of the following mouth conditions:
Gum Disease: The early stage is called gingivitis. When plaque and tartar accumulate on teeth and beneath the gum line, this is gum disease. As the bacteria buildup worsens and inflammation develops, the condition can progress to periodontal disease. At this advanced stage, both tooth loss and bone loss may result if left untreated.
Missing Teeth: Tooth loss occurs due to injury, disease, or severe bacterial damage. Some people may live with missing teeth, not realizing how much the gaps affect mouth function and facial structure. Today, there are many tooth replacement options available.
Sensitivity: Tooth sensitivity can be caused by age, smoking, damage to the enamel, the foods you eat, how hard you brush your teeth, and other reasons.
Dry Mouth: Anyone is susceptible to dry mouth, it is caused by age, medications and other factors. It can be bothersome, and it can affect your oral health. Saliva is important for controlling mouth bacteria.
Bad Breath: It can be unpleasant, and the butt of many jokes, but foul breath can also indicate an underlying health problem. Certain cancers, acid reflux, and some digestive issues show bad breath symptoms. If you have good daily oral hygiene habits and can’t rid yourself of mouth odor, contact your dentist.
Tooth Decay: Decay and cavities develop when bacteria break down enamel. You may notice brown, black or gray spots on the tooth surface, experience an increase in sensitivity and/or bad breath.
Oral Cancer: Although very scary, mouth cancer is treatable when discovered early. This is why routine dental exams are so important. Patients with a higher risk of developing oral cancer are tobacco users, those diagnosed with HPV, and excessive alcohol consumers, but anyone can develop the disease.
Mouth Sores: Blemishes can appear either inside or outside of the oral cavity. This includes the lips and cheeks. Canker sores are typically not serious or contagious, as they are not caused by a virus. Cold sores are contagious clusters of red blisters that form beneath the nose or on the lips. Most mouth sores can be successfully treated with over-the-counter medications. But if you experience pain, if the blemish lasts for over 10 days, or if you have never had mouth sores before, see your dentist.
Root Infection: When bacteria or infection reaches the soft pulp housed in a tooth root, that is a root infection. This can be caused by trauma, a cracked tooth, or a deep cavity. Root canal therapy will clean out the infection and fill in the empty space to prevent further damage.
If you believe you may have any of these dental problems, contact us at Harmony Dental to schedule an appointment for treatment.