Almost everyone faces a dental problem at some point in their lives. Sometimes dental issues are caused by the care you take of your teeth, or lack of, while other times they are caused simply by your heredity. The good news is that advances in dental care have made going to the dentist nearly pain free. Dental problems are never any fun, but most of them can be easily prevented. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, eating properly and regular dental check ups are essential in preventing dental problems. Educating yourself about common dental problems and their causes can also go a long way in prevention. Some of the most common dental problems seen today are :
1. Bad Breath
If you suffer from bad breath, you are not alone. Bad breath, also called halitosis, can be downright embarrassing. Gum disease, cavities, oral cancer, dry mouth and bacteria on the tongue are some of the dental problems that can cause bad breath. Using mouthwash to cover up bad breath when a dental problem is present will only mask the odor and not cure it. If you suffer from chronic bad breath, visit your dentist to rule out any of these problems.
Ways to Detect Bad Breath
If you find the smell to be unpleasant, please follow the methods recommended at Dr Swarup's to help you solve this embarrassing problem.
Ways to Prevent Bad Breath
2. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay occurs when plaque, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and / or starches of the food we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day, flossing daily and going to your regular dental check up. Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay.
Ways to Prevent Cavities
3. Gum (Periodontal) Disease
Gum disease is an infection in the gums surrounding the teeth. Gum disease is also one of the main causes of tooth loss among adults. There are two major stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Regular dental checkups along with brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily play an important role in preventing gum disease. Studies have shown that periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is linked to heart attacks and strokes.
Ways to Prevent Gum Disease
You usually can prevent gum disease by brushing and flossing regularly, having regular dental visits for exams and cleaning, and eating a balanced diet.
Practice good dental habits:
If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, the bleeding should stop as your gums become healthier and tighter to your teeth. But bleeding gums may be a symptom of gum disease and should be brought to the attention of your dentist.
4. Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects millions of people. Basically, tooth sensitivity means experiencing pain or discomfort to your teeth from sweets, cold air, hot drinks, cold drinks or ice cream. Some people with sensitive teeth even experience discomfort from brushing and flossing. The good news is that sensitive teeth can be treated.
Many of us say we have "sensitive teeth." We usually mean that we feel twinges of pain or discomfort in our teeth in certain situations. These may include:
There are two types of tooth sensitivity:
Dentinal sensitivity occurs when the dentin (middle layer) of a tooth is exposed. Normally, the dentin is covered by enamel above the gum line and by cementum below the gum line. Dentin is made up of tiny openings called tubules. Inside each tubule lies a nerve branch that comes from the tooth's pulp (the nerve center of the tooth). When the dentin is exposed, cold or hot temperature or pressure can affect these nerve branches. This causes sensitivity.
Dentinal sensitivity occurs when the outer protective layers of enamel or cementum are removed, exposing the dentin. It can affect one or more teeth. Some causes of dentin exposure include:
Pulpal sensitivity is a reaction of the tooth's pulp. The pulp is a mass of blood vessels and nerves in the center of each tooth. Pulpal sensitivity tends to affect only a single tooth. Causes include:
If you feel a sharp pain upon biting, you may have a broken or cracked filling. Pain when you release a bite is a sign of a cracked tooth.
Both dentinal and pulpal sensitivity usually involve reactions to temperature or pressure. Sensitivity to cold drinks or foods is the most common symptom. Less often, the teeth are sensitive to hot temperatures. If a single tooth becomes sensitive to heat, the tooth's nerve is dying. In this case, root canal treatment is necessary.
Your dentist will look at your dental history and will examine your mouth. You also will need X-rays to show if there is decay or a problem with the nerve. He or she will ask about your oral habits. Grinding or clenching your teeth can contribute to sensitivity. Your dentist also will look for decay, deep fillings and exposed root surfaces. He or she may use an explorer — a metal instrument with a sharp point— to test teeth for sensitivity.
A tooth may be sensitive to cold for several weeks after a filling is placed. The metals in amalgam (silver) conduct the cold very well, transmitting it to the pulp. Bonded (tooth-colored) fillings require etching the tooth with acid before the filling is placed. In some cases, this etching removes enough enamel to make the tooth sensitive. However, advances in bonding now make it less likely to cause tooth sensitivity.
Your dentist or endodontist can conduct tests to see if you need root canal treatment.
If your tooth becomes sensitive after a deep filling is placed, the problem may go away in several weeks. Sometimes the filling is too high and that puts too much pressure on the tooth when you bite down. Your dentist can reduce the height of the filling. If the sensitivity does not go away over time, the tooth probably needs a root canal.
Sensitivity in more than one tooth may disappear in a short time or it may continue. It depends on the cause of sensitivity. Every case is different. Some people have sensitive teeth for only a month or two. Others have the condition for years.
Dentinal sensitivity — You might be able to reduce your chances of dentinal sensitivity by:
Pulpal sensitivity — If a tooth needs root canal treatment, there is no good way to prevent pulpal sensitivity other than to get the needed treatment. Delaying root canal treatment is not recommended. It may result in further problems.
Dentinal sensitivity is quite treatable, whatever the cause.
Pulpal sensitivity will be treated with a root canal if the tooth's nerve is damaged or dying. The nerve will be removed and a non-reactive substance (gutta percha) will be placed in the space where the nerve was. The tooth no longer will have a continuous protective enamel barrier. Therefore it will be restored with either a composite filling or a crown.
To reduce pain due to grinding or clenching, the dentist will make a plastic night guard that you should use while you sleep.