Although much of the focus surrounding teeth involves the appearance of teeth, common dental problems typically extend past visible issues to underlying concerns. At Modern Family Dental Care, we believe that oral health should be treated with an eye on underlying causes and that all incoming patients have the power to support their health through making smart choices and targeting the most common teeth problems they may face.
What Are Common Teeth Problems?
Although there are a plethora of teeth problems known to plague human beings, there are a select few that qualify as “common.” Common teeth problems are those that are frequently seen in dental offices in children and adults. Common teeth problems, fortunately, are also easy to prevent and treat.
What are the most common teeth problems?
Cavities, or dental caries, are arguably the most common teeth problems seen in dental offices. Cavities are small lesions on the tooth caused by persistent bacteria. Bacteria essentially “chew” through the hard enamel of the tooth and cause a small portion of the tooth to decay. Left untreated, the entire tooth can become compromised.
Gum disease is estimated to affect as much as 40% of the adult (aged 30+) population. Despite its prevalence, gum disease often goes undetected until it has progressed to a more substantive issue. Although it can go undetected for years, in the absence of appropriate dental care, one of the most common symptoms of gum disease is having gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing.
Gum disease, when treated and cared for properly, can be halted in its tracks. Left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss, malodorous breath, and other health care issues.
Loose or Painful Teeth
Loose or painful teeth are also common, though the precise cause of these issues will vary. Loose teeth can be caused by gum disease, chronic illness, or trauma, but can also be caused by grinding your teeth, and other issues below the gum line. Painful teeth can be caused by damage to the tooth enamel, including cavities and dental trauma.
Discolored teeth are common as well, but the causes vary. Discoloration can be a result of genetic programming, dietary habits, and damage to the teeth. Yellowing of the teeth is typically associated with food and drinks known to stain, while brown coloring is most often associated with a genetic predisposition. Gray coloring has been linked to trauma (or the death of teeth), and black coloring has been linked to dental caries and decay.
The Heart of the Matter: The Root Cause
The root causes of dental problems are often linked. People who have gum disease and dental caries, for instance, might have dietary and dental hygiene habits that negatively impact oral health and damage both the teeth and gums. Individuals with oral cancer might smoke, which predisposes them to tooth discoloration and decay. To prevent or treat common dental concerns, there are three areas we recommend you address.
Brushing and flossing are often not enough to completely eliminate the potential harm of unhealthy or detrimental dietary habits. Eating lots of high-sugar, highly-processed foods and drinking plenty of sugary, stain-prone drinks can cause a slew of dental issues. Although it is not necessary to completely abstain from eating treats like ice cream, eating high-sugar foods (and drinking sugary, stain-prone drinks) should be regarded as an occasional treat, rather than an expectation. Your dietary habits substantially affect your oral health, even with effective hygiene habits in place.
Dental hygiene is fairly straightforward: brush your teeth at least twice each day, and floss a minimum of once per day to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. There are plenty of other ways to support your oral health in addition to the tried-and-true suggestions of adequate brushing and flossing.
Dental hygiene requires you to view your mouth as a functional entity in need of ongoing support. Brushing, flossing, and swishing with a fluoride rinse cannot substitute for professional, medical intervention, but will help keep your mouth healthy at home. To make sure you are making the most of your dental hygiene routine, you should also visit your dentist for a checkup and cleaning treatment twice per year.
At Modern Family Dental Care, we do not believe in having a defeatist attitude regarding dental issues and genetic factors. Although an individual might be predisposed to gum disease or dental caries, we do not believe this means certain individuals are doomed to a lifetime of bad breath and root canals. Instead, we believe that knowing and understanding your genetic influence helps you more effectively care for your dental health.
When you know that your genetic history makes teeth problems more likely to emerge, you can take greater precautions than the average population. From more frequent visits to your dental office to a greater focus on fluoride treatments and flossing habits, knowing your genetic history can be an invaluable part of successfully managing your dental health.
Preventing Common Teeth Problems
Dental health issues are unfortunately quite common. Nevertheless, dental caries, gum disease, and other issues are not inevitable. Using a series of simple preventative techniques and treatments, you can avoid or recover from the most common teeth problems currently recognized by dentists and enjoy superlative health.
If you find yourself in need of intervention for common teeth problems, contact our office today!