It’s safe to say that almost everyone has had some sort of a dental problem at least once in their lifetime. Moreover, it seems that dental issues have become very common lately with poor diet and lack of proper oral hygiene, but the good news is that most of these problems people struggle with on a daily basis can be easily prevented.
Here’s a list of eight most common dental problems and ways of preventing them.
Tooth decay and cavities
According to WHO statistics, around 60 to 70% of children and almost 100% of adults have dental cavities. These are permanently damaged bits in or around the surface of the teeth that eventually turn into holes. If the teeth aren’t brushed properly and regularly, food remnants accumulate forming plaque on the teeth surface which later reacts with sugars and starch from the food we eat. In combination with bacteria inside our mouth, our tooth enamel starts to deteriorate and results in tooth decay.
The common symptoms are increased sensitivity in teeth when we eat something sweet or cold, and pain. To prevent this from happening, you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day and have regular check-ups. In addition, it’s a good idea to avoid high sugar and starch content food.
Gum disease or periodontal disease is very common in adults and causes infection of the gums surrounding the teeth. Its first phase is gingivitis, which is treatable, but if neglected, may lead to more serious gum issues such as advanced periodontal disease and teeth loss.
Besides gingivitis, other symptoms may include bleeding, swollen and tender gums, bad breath, puss development and loose teeth. It’s most likely caused by the accumulation of bacteria and lack of proper oral hygiene. Prevention includes regular brushing, flossing and visiting a professional endodontist who will provide you with the best treatment and therapy.
Bad breath is probably one of the most embarrassing oral problems. It’s usually caused by cavities, gum disease, oral cancer and an infected tongue. It could also be simply because of something you ate, and that’s why the best prevention is brushing after every meal and rinsing with mouthwash. However, if the odour persists, visit your dentist.
Stained teeth are usually caused by drinking coffee, smoking and poor oral hygiene. Teeth lose their natural colour and shine, so the problem is more aesthetic than structural. Prevention includes avoiding smoking and hard-staining food or drinks, regular brushing and flossing, and visits to your dentist who can offer a solution in the form of teeth whitening.
Dry mouth or xerostomia is a condition in which saliva glands do not produce sufficient amounts of saliva to keep the mouth moist. It could be caused by smoking, stress, aging or certain prescription drugs. It could be a potential problem since saliva contains antibacterial components that help reduce plaque. Unfortunately, there’s no known cure for this condition except drinking more water and hydrating the mouth.
Tooth crowding is more than just an aesthetic problem. More serious cases of misaligned teeth may cause jaw problems that might require surgical treatment. However minor the problem is, it should be addressed, but it’s usually a lengthy process that involves wearing braces and possibly a tooth extraction in order to create more room for other teeth to move.
This is another dental problem that is caused by teeth misalignment. It refers to teeth overlap due to the incorrect relation between the two dental arches, which may consequently lead to biting problems. The usual treatment is wearing braces.
Unfortunately, many of the previously mentioned teeth issues can eventually lead to teeth loss and when this happens, you have two solutions: dental implants or dentures. It’s a harsh reality of life that most of us, when we reach the age between 65 and 75, will have a high risk of losing our teeth, but with constant innovation and technological advances, dental implants are becoming more accessible and affordable.
For those who want a cheaper and faster solution, dentures are always an option. A visit to your dentist will show whether you need partial or full dentures.
By being responsible and consistent in your oral hygiene, prevention of teeth and gum diseases is quite easy. Be disciplined, visit your dentist regularly and practice self-control when it comes to smoking and sugary and starchy food and drinks, and there’ll be no obstacles to your having a beautiful and healthy smile.