No one likes to have dental problems, however, these five are easily treated and preventable. This list will give you a guide which will explain what to look for, what steps to take, and how to approach treatments.
- Tooth Decay
Also known as cavities, tooth decay can occur when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms when you eat sugars or starches, is allowed to settle on teeth for too long. It produces an acid that slowly eats away at the tooth enamel, creating holes.
The best possible approach to dealing with this issue is prevention. Don’t give plaque a chance to build up. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, floss daily, attend routine dental exams, and avoid eating too many sugary foods.
Cavities must be treated by a dentist. That treatment can take the form of a standard filling, a crown, or a tooth extraction. Extractions are usually the last resort, so it is fairly rare for decayed teeth to be pulled.
- Bad Breath
Halitosis, which is commonly known as bad breath, is a problem in which a person’s breath has an unpleasant or foul odor. Bad breath can be caused by a number of different things, such as lingering food particles, dryness of the mouth, poor dental hygiene, mouth infections or illness.
Solving bad breath is dependent on the cause. For some, it may be resolved simply by brushing the teeth to remove plaque, flossing to remove food caught in between teeth, and brushing the tongue with a toothbrush or tongue scraper to remove bacteria. When there are other issues involved such as dental disease or infection, treatment by a dentist may be necessary.
Bad breath caused by dry mouth can be temporarily alleviated by chewing gum or drinking water at regular intervals.
- Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
The first level of gum disease is call gingivitis. This is the only stage which is reversible. If not treated, gingivitis may lead to a more serious, destructive form of gum disease called periodontitis. It is possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs.
Prevent periodontal disease by visiting the dentist for regular checkups. Brushing twice a day, flossing, eating a balanced diet are essential to keeping a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Treatment methods can vary depending on the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Dentists offer options for treatment.
- Tooth Infection (Root infection)
When decay reaches the inner material of your tooth (pulp), you may need a root canal. This is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it.
Treatment requires immediate dental care. The dentist will remove the diseased tooth pulp. The interior of the tooth is cleaned, and sometimes medication is put into the root canal to clear infection. Then the pulp is replaced with a filling and the tooth is capped with a crown.
- Tooth Erosion
This common problem is characterized by round and noticeably discolored enamel surfaces. It occurs as a result of exposure to corrosive acids from bacteria and certain food and drinks which can wear away tooth enamel. Eroded teeth have a stained and unhealthy appearance. In some cases, overzealous brushing may also be a factor.
Unfortunately, you cannot get back the material that has been eroded. Prevention is your best defense against this issue.
Brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush after eating and drinking is the first step in preventing tooth erosion. If you cannot brush, rinsing is helpful.
If the surfaces of the teeth are severely damaged, your dentist might suggest bonding support. The earlier you catch the signs of enamel erosion, the better your chances are of stopping the process.
Don’t let common dental issues cause greater problems—take care of your teeth and smile today. Have a routine oral health care regime at home and follow that by regular scheduled visits to your dentist.