If you haven’t already, remember to schedule an appointment with one of our family dentists. During your appointment, we’ll check for common dental health problems. We’ll also take X-rays and offer our guidance on how to maintain a healthy smile.
Here are the 7 most common dental health problems you should avoid.
1. Bad Breath
Bad breath (halitosis) can be embarrassing, especially during a job interview or date. But bad breath could also be a sign of a deeper problem with your oral health. That’s why it’s important to bring up your bad breath to one of our dentists during your next appointment.
Using a mouth rinse or chewing gum will temporarily mask the odor, but you’ll need to see one of our dentists to discover a permanent solution. Once we resolve the underlying issue (such as a decaying tooth) then your bad breath will disappear for good.
2. Tooth Sensitivity
Do you ever feel a twinge of pain while sipping a cup of hot coffee or eating ice cream? Do you wince a little in the winter when the cold air hits your teeth? If so, you may be losing tooth enamel.
Enamel is the protective outer layer of your teeth. But once this enamel starts to erode, it reveals the more sensitive layer of dentin beneath. Dentin is made of living tissue and microscopic tubes.
If the dentin is exposed, heat and cold are able to reach the nerves in your tooth pulp. Sticky and/or acidic foods can also travel through these microscopic tubes to reach your nerves, causing tooth sensitivity.
3. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is the second most common disease in the United States. The good news is that you have the power to prevent cavities by practicing good oral hygiene.
Cavities are caused by an invisible film of bacteria called dental plaque. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once daily removes this plaque so you can maintain a healthy smile. We also recommend that you see us at least every 6 months for your routine teeth cleaning and oral examination.
Only a dental professional can remove tartar. During your appointment, we’ll also take X-rays and examine the inside of your mouth to diagnose any issues as early as possible.
4. Gum Disease
Dental plaque also causes gum disease. Gingivitis (gum inflammation) is the early stage of gum disease. But you can reverse gingivitis by practicing good oral hygiene and seeing our dentists at least every 6 months. The same can’t be said of, which is a gum infection.
If you have periodontitis, we’ll only be able to help manage the symptoms of the condition through scaling and root planing. That’s why it’s important that you schedule an appointment with one of our dentists as soon as possible if you notice that your gums are bleeding, swollen, or sore. All of these are symptoms of gum disease.
Learn More: 6 Ways to Prevent Gum Disease >>
5. Mouth Sores
Not all mouth sores are the same. Mouth sores inside the mouth (canker sores) are quite common and usually disappear on their own. But be sure to call our office if they persist beyond more than a couple of weeks.
Cold sores develop on the edges of your lips and are caused by the Herpes simplex virus. While cold sores are contagious, they tend to come and go.
6. Oral Cancer
The American Cancer Society estimates that over 53,000 Americans will get oral or throat cancer this year. Fortunately, we offer oral cancer screenings so we’re able to detect the condition in its early stages. This gives you the best chance of survival.
You may have a higher risk of getting oral cancer if you smoke, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, and spend a lot of time outdoors without sun protection on the lips. You should also mention to our dentists if you have a family history of cancer, even if it’s not oral cancer.
7. Dental Emergencies
Don’t wait until you’re in unbearable pain to see one of our dentists! Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Also, seeing us right away will help you save money in the long run. After all, it’s much less expensive to get a filling than it is to.