12 Dental Problems and Diseases That You Should Know About
No one needs to tell you that dental problems are not fun. You do not want them to happen to you, but you know that they can affect anyone. The good news is that you can prevent these dental problems easily. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily are two of the best ways to prevent oral disorders. You should also eat the right foods and make sure you visit your dentist regularly.
Aside from these practices, it is essential that you also educate yourself when it comes to the most common dental problems. You can determine their causes and how to prevent them as well.
The following is a list of tooth disorders and dental diseases that you or anyone can have
Tooth pain is a broad topic. It can be due to several things, including other dental health problems that we will tackle later on, such as tooth decay.
Toothache is easy to describe. Most of us have had a toothache and will have at least one in our lifetime. It is not just pain but also soreness that can affect the tooth itself and those around it. The pain can either be sharp or dull. Regardless, it is not a pleasant experience.
The tooth can also be sensitive to temperature. It is often difficult to bite or chew. Toothaches can happen because you have tooth decay, which is probably the most common cause. Meanwhile, some people suffer from a toothache because of the following reasons:
- Abscesses: Defined as a pocket of pus that forms in any part of the tooth because of bacterial infection, a dental abscess can cause you to be in severe pain. The most common sign is pain that radiates to your neck or ear.
- Tooth pulp inflammation: Also known as pulpitis, inflammation of the tooth pulp occurs when tooth decay reaches deep into the tissue or nerve in the centre of the tooth (pulp). This part of the tooth has plenty of nerves and blood vessels that can become irritated and swollen.
- Cracked tooth: Also known as a fractured tooth, cracks can occur because of mouth trauma. A cracked tooth is common in athletes who can repeatedly receive blows to the face.
- Sensitivity: Exposing your teeth to different situations, such as cold air or liquid can cause tooth pain. It typically develops from the tissue underneath the cementum or the tissue covering the root of the teeth) and the enamel.
- Gum disease: When you have gum disease, it means that your gums are infected. Gingivitis, which is a type of gum disease, shows inflamed and red gums. Periodontitis occurs when you have a gum infection.
- Bruxism: It is when you clench or grind your teeth, usually while sleeping. At first, you may not know about it, but it can eventually lead to tooth pain and even facial discomfort.
Toothaches can be difficult to deal with, which is why you may want to go to your dentist right away. If the appointment cannot come soon enough, you can swish warm water around your mouth. Flossing can also help to remove food that may have been caught between your teeth. Pain relievers are also available over the counter.
I f you are a coffee or tea drinker, you know teeth stains all too well. However, teeth discolouration is not just because of your favourite food or drink. It can also be due to poor oral hygiene.
Stains appear on the surface of the teeth, but can also go underneath the tooth enamel. Some people can have the same types of stains. Another type is related to ageing since the enamel that covers the teeth’s core tissue known as the dentine can get thinner as we grow older. As a result, dentine shows its real colour, which is yellowish.
Not to worry though because you can still have your pearly white smile back. A good option that people can explore is tooth whitening, which is provided by dentists.
Brushing and rinsing with whitening toothpaste can help, but it is only a temporary solution. You can, however, seek help from your dentist who will give you recommendations and treatment as well.
For a cavity to develop, you need a number of factors to come together. There needs to be a suitable surface (tooth), a sugary source (from food), bacteria and sufficient time. Even though the chance that decay develops varies between individuals, with some people being more susceptible, the reality is that without sugary decay will not occur.
The structure of the enamel of the individual
1,000 microorganisms in the body that dictate the immune response
Polymorphisms in saliva affect the bacteria in the mouth
Teeth Shape and Size
Cavities are small holes in the teeth that start as plaque. It will build upon the teeth and slowly destroy the outer shell or enamel of the teeth. The best way to prevent cavities is to follow the simplest guideline: brush your teeth twice daily. Brushing helps get rid of plaque and can also Florride helps reduce cavity risk.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
Accidents can cause chipped tooth, which is considered the most common dental injury. However, even something as simple as eating hard food can break your tooth. Many people ignore this problem. They usually just accept that the broken tooth will no longer grow back. It is important now more than ever to see your dentist.
The broken tooth can damage the nearby teeth because it can lead to infection. If untreated, you can end up losing more tooth tissue.
Is a person has a chipped tooth; a common approach is to bond white composite filling material. Here a strong resin material, which will replace the chipped area. However, if the pulp is affected, you may have to go under a root canal treatment. After the procedure, the dentist may recommend a crown or a veneer.
Note that chipped or broken tooth is not the same as an impacted tooth. If it does not come in correctly, the tooth is impacted. It happens when this particular tooth is stuck against soft tissue, bone, or another tooth. The only remedy for it is to remove the tooth. You can also leave it there if it does not cause any discomfort.
Does eating ice cream, making you wince every time the cold touches your teeth? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 40 million adults suffer from tooth sensitivity. You may recognise it as sudden pain, often sharp yet temporary.
The good news is that you can prevent tooth sensitivities. However, the bad news is that it can happen to anyone. Sensitivities have many causes, including brushing too hard, the recession of the gums, and gingivitis.
You can also have cavities or your tooth fillings have worn out. The treatment for sensitivity depends on the underlying reason. You might require a root canal, filling, or gum treatment. The latter is for those who may need tissue replacement at the root. In simple cases, changing the toothpaste into a desensitising product is an effective solution. A fluoride gel and strip can also help.
Have you heard about hyperdontia? If not, then you surely know about having too many teeth. If you have such a problem, you have hyperdontia. For most people, there are 32 teeth when they reach adulthood. Some would have extra teeth though, including those with Gardner’s Syndrome or a cleft palate.
Gardner’s syndrome forms tumours in the mouth but they are not cancerous. The cause of hyperdontia isn’t clear up until now. Some researchers believe it is due to a genetic factor while others think that certain environmental factors can increase the risk of a person.
The only solution is to have the extra tooth (or teeth) removed. After that, you may require orthodontics to correct your bite. Usually, those who have hyperdontia also have crooked teeth. Straightening them is easy with orthodontic appliances, such as braces.
Also known as halitosis, this oral problem is downright embarrassing, particularly in social situations. Normal people only need to brush and rinse their mouth or use a mouthwash to correct the problem. However, if you have persistent bad breath, it may be due to a dental condition, such as:
- Gum disease
- Dry mouth
- Even oral cancer may be the culprit. It is why you should have your oral health checked if your bad breath problem does not go away.
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease manifests itself in many ways, including bleeding gums, teeth sensitivity, red and tender gums, and painful chewing. Gum disease is not something that you should ignore. Many adults suffer from it, and they end up losing their teeth earlier than normal. Additionally, studies have shown that there is a link between gum disease and heart disease.
No one is safe from gum disease. There is no at-risk group that can develop periodontal disease. However, you need to watch out for it when you hit the age of 30. Also, if you smoke, you have a higher risk of acquiring the disease.
Those who suffer from dry mouth, as well as people with diabetes, can have gum disease. There are two stages of gum disease, which are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is when you see a build-up of plaque below your gum line. Make sure that you have it treated to avoid bone loss. In many cases, teeth can move or become loose.
The best treatment for gum disease is to brush and floss daily. You can also use an antiseptic mouthwash to help rid the bacteria. Of course, you should not forget to see your dentist, especially to get regular cleanings.
The word “cancer” alone is frightening. According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, more than 450,000 people are diagnosed with this disease every year. In Australia, about 2,500 new cases arise each year, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Mouth or oral cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that targets the oral cavity. It starts in the mouth, particularly on the lips, flour of the mouth, and tongue. However, it can also begin in the gums, tonsils, roof of the mouth, cheeks, and salivary glands.
Some of the symptoms to watch out for are:
- Loose teeth
- Changes in speech
- Lump in the neck
- Lip sores that do not heal
- Mouth bleeding or numbness
- Patches (either white or red or both) on the tongue, gums, and mouth
If you suddenly lost weight, along with some of the symptoms above, you need to see a doctor. Mouth cancers can happen to those who consume tobacco and alcohol. However, it can also be due to other causes, including viruses, such as human papillomavirus (HPV) and Epstein-Barr.
Those who have a history of oral cancers in their families also have a higher risk of developing this cancer than others. Meanwhile, other risk factors include poor oral hygiene and existing gum disease. Those who chew betel nut or the seed of the areca palm tree also have an increased risk, as well as those who continually have sun exposure.
Regular dental health checks can help catch this cancer early. As with any type of cancer, you have a higher chance of combatting oral or mouth cancer when it is treated in its early stages.
Most mouth sores last two weeks. You do not have to treat the sore because it will just go away. It can be pesky, but it should not worry you unless it takes longer than usual to disappear. Canker sores, known as aphthous ulcers, are the most common type. They appear inside the mouth, so they are not visible outside, particularly on the lips.
Cold sores, on the other hand, or those you may know as fever blisters, are due to the Herpes simplex virus. You can find them usually on the edge of the lips. Cold sores are contagious and incurable but they do go away.
Meanwhile, there is another type of mouth sore, which is a yeast infection of the mouth. This type can affect almost everyone, including infants and those who wear dentures. During cancer treatment, mouth sores can appear, as well as in patients with diabetes.
Saliva is important not just to the health of the teeth but the entire mouth. It helps cleanse the mouth and serves as a food digestion aid. It also prevents mouth infection by controlling fungi and bacteria. Dry mouth or xerostomia occurs when there is not enough saliva in the mouth.
It may be a condition that you would simply ignore but dry mouth can be uncomfortable. Many treatments exist in helping solve the problem, but they usually start by determining the main cause. Some of the top reasons why people get a dry mouth include:
Taking medications for depression, allergies, colds, pain, and anxiety, as well as diuretics for hypertension and some bronchodilators for asthma cause dry mouth
- Sedatives and muscle relaxants can also lead to a dry mouth
- Those with anaemia, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, and cystic fibrosis often complain about having a dry mouth
- Other medical conditions whose patients have a dry mouth include stroke, mumps, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjögren’s syndrome. Medical treatments also cause dry mouth as one of the side effects, such as chemotherapy for cancer patients.
- Injuries or surgeries that caused nerve damage can also lead to dry mouth.
- If you are dehydrated due to excessive sweating, diarrhoea, vomiting, and blood loss, dry mouth can result as well. Your lifestyle can also affect the amount of saliva in your mouth. For instance, if you smoke or chew tobacco, it can affect saliva production.
Treating dry mouth will depend on the cause. If it is due to your medication, you can ask your doctor to give you a different drug or perhaps lower the dose.
If you see thick patches, which can either be white or greyish, inside your mouth, you could have a condition called leukoplakia. One of the biggest causes is smoking. However, there are other irritants, including a previous injury due to biting the inside of your cheek and having rough and uneven teeth.
Those who consume alcohol, as well as people with inflammatory conditions, can develop leukoplakia. Aside from the white or grey patches inside your mouth, you will also see patches that are hard and thick. If you have hairy leukoplakia, the patches can be fuzzy.
Leukoplakia can go away on its own without any treatment. However, you should avoid the triggers, such as tobacco, alcohol, or cheek biting.
Knowing these dental and oral problems can help you describe the problem to your dentist or orthodontist. Also, you will understand what to do while you wait for your next appointment.