Dental problems can cause a great deal of stress, both physically and emotionally. Investigating common dental problems and causes can help with peace of mind and also for prevention.
Bad Breath aka Halitosis
Itâ€™s known that up to 50% of us have persistent bad breath. Whilst this problem may not be painful, it certainly has social repercussions which impacts self-esteem.
Bad breath is mainly caused by mouth bacteria breaking down food. Eating foods strong in flavour, smoking and drinking alcohol can accelerate the causes of bad breath. Medication can also be a cause of bad breath.
Improving oral hygiene is usually the 1st port of call for preventing and treating bad breath. It is recommended that you brush and floss your teeth twice a day. The tiny fibers on the tongue cover a large area for food and bacteria to persist so it is also recommended to brush your tongue gently with your brush. At the end of every brush use an alcohol free mouth wash to rinse your mouth thoroughly.
Whilst not being the most fun place in the world to visit, it is critical to visit the dentist at least once every 6 months for a complete examination and thorough clean.
Tooth decay occurs when the bacteria in your mouth creates acid which eats away at a tooth, causing cavities. Over time these acids destroy tooth enamel causing decay. Toothache is a common symptom of tooth decay.
Mild tooth decay can be reversed with the use of toothpaste high in fluoride. A trip to the dentist is required with persistent tooth decay issues who can advise on the best cause of action in individual cases. Fillings are a common way of filling cavities by dentists. More complex procedures may require a root canal or even tooth removalâ€“ however itâ€™s important to stress that this is a worst case scenario!
Improving oral hygiene and regular visits to a dentist will keep tooth decay at bay.
Over 50% of the adult population in the UK is likely to have some degree of gum disease within their lifetime. Symptoms of gum disease include swollen or bleeding gums. Untreated, symptoms may get worse including receding gums, abscesses, increased sensitivity or even teeth falling out!
Gum disease treatment can take several forms depending on the type. Treatment could include professional plaque removal, medication or surgery.
As with a number of dental issues, mild gum disease can be avoided with good, effective oral hygiene. Gum disease can be caused by the use of tobacco and teeth grinding / clenching so it is worthwhile to reduce these triggers over time to lower the risk of gum disease.
Probably the most common problem out of this list, tooth sensitivity will affect a high % of the population. It causes pain and discomfort when teeth are exposed to sugars and hot or cold food / drink. Tooth sensitivity is mainly caused by a reduction in the tooth enamel. There is a possibility that tooth enamel can be restored slowly with the use of toothpaste high in fluoride. There is also a specialist desensitizing toothpaste specially formulated to help those with sensitive teeth.
This is a serious dental problem which often spreads to the mouth and throat. Despite it being deadly, it can be cured if diagnosed at an early stage. This is difficult however because in the early stages oral cancer can often be unnoticed. It could take the form of an ulcer or tissue discolouration. If something like this doesnâ€™t heal within a couple of weeks then it is critical to visit a dentist as soon as possible. A dentist will be able to recognise if a lesion looks cancerous.