We all strive to have healthy teeth and gums for a beautiful smile, fresh breath, and a high level of confidence. Yet, even with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist, dental issues can arise. Fortunately, however, each of these dental problems is preventable with preventative in-office dental care and a proper at-home oral hygiene routine. The following comprises some of the most common dental problems our dentists observe.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a preventable dental issue. When a patient develops tooth decay, it can negatively impact their quality of life, overall oral health, and well-being. When teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids form in the mouth, which then eats away at each tooth’s enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods can leave plaque deposits on the teeth by bonding residues and bacteria. When deposits of food residue, bacteria, and plaque combine, they can form acids, which can damage the mineral structure of the teeth, resulting in tooth decay, the development of cavities, and other dental conditions.

Sensitive Teeth

When our teeth are exposed to hot and cold, they react by expanding and contracting. For individuals with sensitive teeth, consuming hot and cold foods and beverages can cause a significant amount of pain, irritation, and discomfort. As we age, over time, and with the development of oral decay, the enamel covering our teeth can wear down, and gums can recede. Our teeth may even develop small cracks, which expose their interiors to exterior substances, irritating the nerve endings. For patients with extremely sensitive teeth, even just breathing in cold air can cause them to experience sensations of pain.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, can cause our gums to become inflamed, our teeth to come loose and fall out, and our jawbones to become compromised. Gum disease starts with the accumulation and presence of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria on and in between the teeth. In the early stages of periodontal disease, known as gingivitis, the gums can bleed easily and may turn red or swell when flossing and brushing. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, the teeth may fall out or require removal and replacement with dental implants. Gum disease is highly preventable and can be avoided by proper oral hygiene and dental care routines.

Bad Breath

Brushing and flossing each day helps prevent the build-up and accumulation of food particles, plaque, and bacteria in the mouth. When food particles and other debris are left in the mouth, they deteriorate, resulting in the development of bad breath. Certain food items, such as anchovies and garlic, can create temporary bad breath, which usually lasts until the person brushes and flosses. However, having bad breath on a consistent basis may indicate the presence of gum disease or another serious dental problem.

Canker Sores

Canker sores are small sores that develop on the interior tissues of the mouth. These sores are common and often recur following trauma to the gums, among other causes. They typically last for only 1–2 weeks, yet the duration of a canker sore can be reduced with the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents. Canker sores typically feature a white or gray base surrounded by an inflamed, red border. If you experience this issue regularly, speak with your dentist about preventative measures and treatment options.

Teen Alignment Issues

A bite that does not meet properly is an issue that may be inherited from one’s parents, or it may be an acquired condition that developed over time. Some cause of alignment issues of the teeth occur due to missing or extra teeth, crowding among teeth, and misaligned jawbones, among other causes. Thumb-sucking, which occurs over an extended period of time or an accident that affects the mouth, can also cause malocclusion. Lake City Dental offers several options for orthodontic treatment for a bright, healthy, and beautiful smile!