Approximately 65 percent of adults and 86 percent of children had a dental visit within the last year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most visits to the dentist are routine and involve standard examinations and cleanings. However, dental issues may be discovered during an exam that requires prompt treatment. Here’s a look at some of the most common dental issues seen by dentists and how these conditions are generally treated or managed.
1. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is one of the most common health problems in the U.S. Decay forms when plaque combines with sugars from the foods you eat, creating harmful acids that attack tooth enamel. Cavities can form at any age and can have a wide range of causes, such as poor hygiene, dry mouth, certain medications, or illness. Most cavities can be treated with simple fillings in which the decayed portion of the tooth is removed.
2. Gum (Periodontal) Disease
An infection of the gums is referred to as gum or ‘periodontal’ disease. Although anyone can develop gum disease, people over age 30 and people who smoke are most at risk. Gum disease can cause a variety of symptoms, such as sensitive teeth, bad breath, pain when chewing, and red, tender, swollen, or bleeding gums. For milder cases of gum disease, non-surgical treatments like a professional dental cleaning, scaling, and root planing are the go-to treatments. In severe cases, pocket reduction surgery, bone grafts, soft tissue grafts, or bone surgery may be necessary.
3. Impacted Teeth
When a tooth does not emerge from the gums normally, it is referred to as “impacted.” A tooth may become impacted when it becomes stuck against another tooth, soft tissue, or bone. If an impacted tooth is not bothering you, it can usually be left alone. However, if it starts to cause pain or other symptoms, it may need to be removed by an oral surgeon who will make an incision in the gum and manually remove the impacted tooth.
4. Bad Breath
Also known as halitosis, bad breath is a common problem that can cause a lot of embarrassment for sufferers. In up to 85 percent of cases, persistent bad breath is linked to a dental condition. Cavities, gum disease, dry mouth, bacteria on the tongue, or oral cancer may be to blame for chronic bad breath. To get rid of bad breath for good, speak with your dentist to determine the underlying cause and seek treatment.
5. Tooth Sensitivity
Millions of people suffer from sensitive teeth that cause pain or discomfort from sweets, hot and cold drinks, cold air, or really cold foods like ice cream. Sensitive teeth can have a variety of causes, such as a cracked or abscessed tooth. If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, schedule an appointment with your dentist to get the problem diagnosed and treated.
6. Cracked Tooth
Cracking a tooth can be a painful problem that requires a swift diagnosis and treatment. Teeth can crack with age and are most common in people aged 50 and older. Biting into hard foods, teeth grinding, large dental fillings, and habits like ice chewing can also lead to cracked teeth. Treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the severity of the crack. A dentist may recommend a root canal or crown to repair the crack and relieve symptoms. If a crack cannot be repaired, tooth extraction may be recommended.
7. Teeth Grinding
The act of grinding your teeth is known as bruxism. There are several known causes of teeth grinding, such as misaligned teeth, sleep issues, and stress. In children, allergies can sometimes contribute to grinding problems. Bruxism can cause jaw soreness, headaches, and loose or cracked teeth. It is important to determine the underlying cause of the bruxism before undergoing treatment. Wearing a mouthguard while you sleep can help prevent further damage to your smile.
Schedule an Appointment
If you’re experiencing any of these common dental issues, it is important to find a dentist in your area and schedule an appointment. The experienced dental team at Bonham Dental Arts can diagnose and treat a wide range of dental problems. Contact our office today at our Largo, FL or Seminole, FL location.