Who doesn’t want to give their neighbor a hearty smile due to a lack of confidence caused by various dental problems?
Some people have dental problems that deny them peace and intimacy with others around them. For some, the problem can be bleeding gums, tooth decay, bad breath, dry mouth, or any other.
Most of these diseases are treatable. Your teeth are to be cherished just like any other part of your body. Caring for them would mean having proper oral health and taking your personal and tooth hygiene seriously.
You will also need to brush frequently, floss regularly, and schedule visits to the dentist twice a year.
This article highlights the 10 most common dental problems and tooth diseases. It includes everything you need to know about dental and oral health and how to treat them.
1. Cavities/Tooth Decay
Cavities or tooth decays are common dental problems that result in tiny holes. These appear and permanently damage areas around the surface of your tooth.
This condition is caused by little food remains with high sugar or starch content settling on the tooth surface. The bacteria in your mouth tend to feed on starch and sugar.
This leads to the destruction of enamel (the protective coat of your teeth) which later leads to tooth decay or cavities.
The primary cause of this problem is what you eat—your diet. Sugary bites and drinks are the leading cause of tooth decay and poor hygiene in kids and adults.
Its symptoms are sensitivity, tooth stains, toothache, visible holes on the surface of your teeth, and sudden sharp pain when eating or drinking something cold or sweet.
2. Gum Disease
Gum disease is another dental problem that mainly affects adults, and it develops in three stages.
The first one is gingivitis. This stage of the disease is reversible, but if it is not taken seriously and treated correctly, it will lead to more severe problems and escalate to the second stage called periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is lethal, and it must be attended to with seriousness and as soon as it starts. Else, it will lead to the third stage of gum disease, known as advanced periodontal disease.
This third stage may see your teeth becoming loose and falling off.
Signs and symptoms of gum disease include bad breath, bleeding gums, Swollen, red or tender gums, loose teeth, and pus development or excretion.
Gum disease is also treatable and preventable by practicing good oral hygiene habits and brushing your teeth at least three times a day.
A Must-read: Dental Care: 6 Ways To Keep Your Gums Healthy
3. Bad Breath
Bad breath is also a disease that needs to be treated in as much as it’s also a symptom of several dental problems.
The condition robs you of your smile and embarrasses you when you are with your friends.
Also known as halitosis, this dental problem affects both the young and the old.
Another cause of bad breath is what you’ve been eating. Certain foods cause this problem: onions, liquor, spices, cumin, garlic, and sweets.
How do you treat and prevent gum diseases?
Ensure you brush your teeth or gargle some mouthwash or freshwater if you can’t brush immediately after every meal.
If the symptom persists, seek medical advice from your dentist.
4. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth disease, also known as xerostomia, is a condition where saliva glands do not produce enough saliva to keep your mouth moist.
The absence of moisture in your mouth gives breeding room for more plaque, cavities, and eventually, tooth decay. Therefore, saliva is essential as it contains bacterial components that help keep plaque off of teeth’ surface.
Xerostomia is caused by several practices and other factors, including stress, aging, medication, and smoking.
Also, people on chemotherapy sessions are at a very high risk of having dry mouth diseases.
Common symptoms of dry mouth diseases include burning feeling in the mouth, bad breath, chapped lips, mouth sores, and gum irritation.
However, there is no absolute cure for dry mouth except drinking more water which has been proven over time and helps keep the mouth hydrated.
5. Tooth Crowding
This is an aesthetic dental problem that causes alignment issues and later results in temporomandibular jaw disorder or TMJ.
The misaligned teeth can cause severe jaw problems that might need surgery to fix if not attended to immediately.
When baby teeth fall out, new ones sprout out in different positions, thus causing crowding. This may need realignment by using braces.
Other medication might include extraction and use of clear aligners called Invisalign. These aligners also need thorough discipline and hygiene since they must be taken out when eating, cleaned, and replaced every fortnight.
6. Root Infection
Root infection disease is caused by bacteria that infect the root part of your teeth. The bacteria invade the pulp tissues through the top center of your teeth.
The invasion will cause an abscess infection that will develop into severe and uncomfortable pain.
During the procedure, the dentist or endodontist will inject you with anesthesia and drill a hole through the middle of your tooth. He then grinds away the affected area to access the root.
He then uses a unique suction tool to suck out all the pus and infected tissue once the opening has been made.
Later on, he seals the open area with a hardening material known as gutta-percha which will keep bacteria from entering the root again and strengthen the tooth.
7. Tooth Loss
Tooth loss is another common dental problem. However, most of the diseases mentioned above will lead to tooth loss if not attended to promptly.
Tooth loss occurs mainly in old age, and it is a result of weakened teeth caused by grinding, chewing, and biting.
Statistics show that 30% of people in the world who are between the ages of 65-74 have an artificial tooth.
The possible remedy for this problem is dental implants and dentures.
The implants look and feel natural and are lodged permanently into your jaw to function like natural teeth. They are strong, durable, and long-lasting.
8. Oral Cancer
This is the most lethal dental problem one can encounter. It is considered to be neck and head cancer.
This cancer claims the highest number of casualties than other cancers because it doesn’t present any pain or primary symptoms.
In its initial stages, you will notice a small pinkish or reddish growth in the mouth which is commonly caused by smoking and drinking.
The swell is unlikely to be noticed since your mouth doesn’t innately have smooth surfaces and is naturally pink or reddish.
But with the help of a dentist, they would know how and where to look out for it and even recommend further testing if needed.
9. Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding is a dental problem that mainly occurs when asleep, when stressed, with anxiety, or when you have a sleep disorder.
The disease can damage your teeth cause earaches, headaches, and even jaw pains.
Furthermore, other dental conditions can lead to grinding, including an abnormal bite or a new filling, or higher crowning than your other teeth.
The possible treatment for this condition is to get a custom-made mouthguard to use at night. This will help stop or ease your grinding and offer some protection to your teeth.
10. Enamel Erosion
Tooth discoloration and rounded shape teeth are common symptoms of enamel erosion. This is caused by overeating sugar and acidic products such as sweets, ice cream, and soda.
Another cause of enamel erosion is brushing your teeth too hard, too often, and for too long. This practice will wash away the coating that protects the inner part of your teeth, making them very weak, sensitive, and vulnerable to cracks.
Unlike the other dental problems, you cannot restore the eroded enamel on teeth.
The possible remedy is to cut down on sugary and acidic foods, use toothbrushes with softer bristles, and use dental veneers.
You can avert all the problems mentioned above by practicing simple oral hygiene such as regular tooth brushing, drinking water, cutting back on sugary foodstuff, and gargling mouthwash.
Also, improve the relationship between you and your dentist by regularly visiting him and having your teeth checked and cleaned regularly as well.
These steps might seem simple and easy to do, but ignoring them might increase the chances of you getting dental problems that can lead to something worse.
For smokers, consider going low on your nicotine intake. Smoking can lead to teeth stains and oral, throat, and lung cancer.
On the other hand, heavy drinkers are advised to moderate their drinking. Alcohol contributes to many dental problems, especially if you don’t have a habit of brushing after.