Common Tooth and Mouth Problems: What You Need to Know

Having healthy teeth and gums is essential for a winning smile, fresh breath, and increased confidence. Unfortunately, many adults suffer from common dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, bad breath, tooth erosion, and oral cancer. In this article, we'll discuss the causes and treatments of these common tooth and mouth problems. Cavities, also known as tooth decay or caries, are the most common dental problem dentists see in patients. They occur when bacteria form a film called plaque on the surface of the teeth.

Bacteria produce acids from the sugars in food that corrode and damage the enamel of the tooth. Dental care for cavities includes fillings, crowns, root canals, extractions, dental implants, or dentures. To prevent cavities, brush and floss your teeth twice a day and have regular checkups with your dentist. Gingivitis is the mild form of periodontal or gum disease. It is caused by plaque buildup and can cause red, swollen, and easily bleeding gums.

Other risk factors include tobacco use, pregnancy, diabetes, crooked teeth, and poor brushing techniques. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis which can cause damage to the bone and tissue that support the teeth. Dental care for periodontitis includes topical antibiotics or referral to a periodontist. Bad breath is one of the most common dental problems and also one of the most treatable. Causes of bad breath are varied so your dentist will perform a full evaluation and prescribe the course of action that best suits your case.

You may also have sensitive teeth because the enamel layer on your teeth is naturally thin. There are types of toothpaste and mouthwashes specifically designed for use with sensitive teeth. Gum retraction can be genetic or caused by poor oral hygiene. Dental care for retracted gums includes a thorough cleaning of the teeth by a dental professional and proper brushing techniques. Serious cases may need to be treated with a gum graft or other type of surgery. Root infection occurs when the base or root of the tooth becomes infected with bacteria due to cavities, cracks, or fractures in the tooth.

Symptoms include chronic throbbing toothache (lasting and persistent), pain when chewing or biting, sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks, and inflammation around the infection. Root infection is treated with a root canal. Mouth sores can be canker sores, cold sores, or oral thrush. If a sore doesn't go away on its own in two weeks, see your dentist. Too much acid in the mouth can cause tooth erosion which can cause your teeth to become sensitive or even crack them. Oral cancer is a common and fatal disease that kills one person in the United States every hour.

Regular visits to the dentist can help detect oral cancer early. To prevent these common tooth and mouth problems, brush your teeth twice a day, floss every day, have regular dental checkups, avoid smoking, and use proper brushing techniques.

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