Common Dental Problems and How to Prevent Them

We know that developing dental problems can be stressful, uncomfortable, and, in the worst case, quite painful. Often common dental problems are preventable with the right ongoing dental care. The most common issues include tooth decay, gum disease and tooth sensitivity.

Tooth Decay

Teeth become decayed when bacteria in the mouth gradually erode the protective layer of enamel coating your teeth. It is a gradual process that can be worsened if you have lots of sugary or acidic foods or poor oral hygiene. Once these bacteria penetrate the tooth enamel, they can create holes or cavities in teeth that can lead to infection and even tooth loss without prompt treatment.

Following a proper oral care routine that includes twice daily brushing and flossing each day helps remove the bacteria causing tooth decay. It is important to consider your diet and avoid eating too many foods high in sugar or acid. If you want these foods, have them as part of your main meal and avoid them as snacks.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a particular problem and is also called periodontal disease. It is a condition where the gums become infected and inflamed due to a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria are found in dental plaque. This is a sticky biofilm that continually forms to coat the surfaces of your teeth. When dental plaque isn’t removed by regular brushing and flossing, it soon hardens into tartar, a hard, crusty substance that can no longer be brushed or flossed away. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, where gums start to bleed slightly. If you visit our practice regularly, we can soon detect any signs of this problem. Otherwise, gum disease can progress into periodontitis, where gums start to recede, and the infection gradually destroys the bones and ligaments supporting your teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss.

You can prevent gum disease by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. You can also purchase antimicrobial mouthwash that helps reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. If you want to use mouthwash, ask us for advice on which brand to choose and avoid any containing alcohol, as this can dry out your mouth. Avoid smoking or using any tobacco products, and make sure you visit us regularly for dental check-ups.

Tooth Sensitivity

Many people have sensitive teeth where it is uncomfortable or even painful to eat or drink anything hot or cold, or very sweet. The pain and discomfort can occur when the tooth nerve is exposed or comes under pressure when you bite or chew food. Tooth sensitivity can be caused by tooth decay, worn tooth enamel, or failing fillings.

If you have sensitive teeth, it’s important to come and see us so we can diagnose the reason and, if so, provide appropriate treatment. For example, if a filling is crumbling, then replacing it will help you feel more comfortable and, at the same time, will protect and preserve your tooth. We can also advise you on other ways to treat sensitive teeth, such as using toothpaste specially designed for this purpose.