Just like any other health concern, many things can be critical for your oral health. There are, however, nine common things that we typically see in our family dentist's Norwalk, CT office.
Dental caries or cavities are something we see frequently. Statistics tell us that as many as 92% of adults aged 20 to 64 have had at least one dental cavity in their permanent teeth. Decay results from bacteria called plaque. That bacteria produces acids that will eat away at the enamel of the teeth, leading to damage.
The early stages of periodontal disease are called gingivitis, which is a bacterial infection that results from plaque buildup. The most common symptom of gum disease is bleeding gums that appear red and swollen. It might also lead to sensitivity, but often there are no symptoms at all. Gum disease can go undetected until it becomes really serious and painful if not addressed, which is why regular exams are so important to spot signs of it.
Halitosis is a dental problem most people have that can result from many factors, including dry mouth, infection, cancer, acid reflux, medication, and poor oral care. The causes of chronic bad breath differ from one patient to the next, so it is always best to have a professional investigate the cause and make sure that it isn’t leading to other adverse oral health concerns.
Some people have a hard time with their teeth being sensitive to hot or cold, which is usually a result of worn enamel that exposes the dentin. When your dentin is exposed, so are the nerves that rest inside it, and when they are exposed to hot or cold, it can lead to intense pain. Other possible reasons that you have sensitive teeth are root infection, gum disease, a broken or cracked tooth, enamel erosion, worn or cracked fillings, or receding gums. Some people have very thin enamel genetically, which can predispose them to tooth sensitivity.
Broken or Cracked Teeth
Broken or cracked teeth are typically caused by an accident or injury, grinding teeth, or chewing hard foods. Sometimes a cracked or broken tooth can cause pain, and for others, it is just an aesthetic concern. If you have a crack or a chip, it is critical to have it examined and fixed if necessary.
Receding gums can stem from a variety of dental issues, and they can also lead to serious consequences like tooth loss. Receding gums can affect the root. They can be the result of brushing too hard, poor oral care, high blood pressure, smoking, and hormonal fluctuations in women. There are often times when it is caused by genetics. The treatment depends on the underlying cause.
The root or base of your tooth can become swollen and infected with bacteria. An infection typically comes from cracks, fractures, or cavities of the tooth, and it can result in damaged nerves and tissue, and - in some instances - abscesses. One of the most common signs of an infection is pain when chewing or biting and sensitivity to hot or cold drinks and food. It might also result in facial swelling.
Over time, you can have erosion of the enamel on your teeth, which will result in your tooth being disfigured and discolored. This is usually caused by having too many acidic and sugary foods over time. It can also come from brushing too frequently or too hard. When your enamel begins to erode, it will make your teeth weaker and sensitive, and in extreme cases, it can lead to chips and cracks.
The medical term for teeth grinding is bruxism, and although most people grind while sleeping, it is possible to grind while you are awake. Over time, teeth grinding can lead to jaw pain and earaches and headaches. Some conditions that lead to grinding are a new crown or filling and an abnormal bite. Other reasons people grind their teeth are stress, anxiety, or sleep disorders. The best way to treat teeth grinding is to address what is causing the person to grind their teeth in the first place.
Many things can go wrong with your oral health, but we most commonly see the conditions listed above. The key to good oral health is prevention, which is why scheduling your regular oral cleanings is so important. At Dr. Cheung, we address all dental conditions for the entire family. Contact our office to schedule your appointment today!