Most Common Dental Problems And Their Treatment
Every tooth in a man's head is more valuable than a diamond.
- Miguel de Cervantes
Can we agree more with the above quote? Every tooth of yours is very precious. Losing even a single tooth brings along several oral problems if not treated on time. The amount of money that you will have to spend to restore your teeth could be worth more than the equivalent of a diamond.
Even though people consider healthy teeth a crucial part of overall well-being, more than 25% of adults in the United States have untreated tooth decay. The main reason behind ignorance towards dental health is that people feel embarrassed to talk about their teeth. People avoid going to dental clinics due to the fear of judgment by dentists. However, you should remember one thing. It is the job of your dentist to help you maintain your oral health. A dentist also enables you to overcome embarrassment and anxiety related to dental visits.
Just like any other part of the body, our teeth are irreplaceable. If you do not take proper care of your teeth, they are prone to damage, wear and tear. However, you can develop minor dental problems even if you follow your oral care routine religiously. If you encounter even the slightest dental condition, the best thing is to seek treatment right away. Here are the most common dental problems and their treatment.
The hard protective outer part of a tooth is known as the enamel. When this enamel gets damaged, it results in tooth decay, cavities, or holes in your teeth. Tooth decay, if not treated on time, may lead to severe pain, infection, and loss of teeth.
Our mouth is a house for a plethora of bacteria. Some of them are harmful and result in dental problems like tooth decay. When these bacteria combine with food, it forms a sticky film over the teeth, known as plaque. When you eat or drink something too sweet, the bacteria in the plaque mix with sugar and starch to make acids. These acids are harmful to your teeth as they lead to the wearing of enamel. Plaque, if not treated timely, hardens over time and turns into tartar. With proper oral hygiene, you can treat plaque. But it needs professional dental services to get rid of tartar.
When your teeth lose any minerals, they replace them with the help of saliva and fluoride that you get from water and toothpaste. This process of losing and regaining minerals by teeth happens throughout the day. But, if you don't limit the consumption of starchy foods and sugary drinks, your teeth won't renew the lost minerals. It results in further damage and decaying of the teeth.
An early sign of identifying tooth decay is a white spot on the tooth that occurs due to loss of minerals. At this point, you can stop the condition from worsening further and reverse it. It is essential to take proper care of your teeth and limit starchy and sugary food items. If the tooth decay doesn't stop, your enamel gets destroyed and forms a cavity in your tooth. A cavity is a permanent damage, and you will need a filling to get it repaired.
Depending on how bad your problem is, the following are the treatments for tooth decay.
If you see early signs of tooth decay, you can go for fluoride treatment. It not only repairs the enamel but also stops your tooth from decaying further. In this process, your dentist applies fluoride to your teeth as a gel or foam. You may also get a prescription for fluoridated toothpaste or mouthwashes.
If your tooth decay worsens and leads to a cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth to prevent further damage. After extraction, the tooth is then restored by adding the filling material. Teeth filling material can be resins, porcelain, gold, silver, or an amalgamation of metals like mercury, silver, copper, and zinc.
As the outside of the tooth consists of enamel, the inside of the tooth is of pulp. When tooth decay starts to infect the pulp, you may require a root canal treatment. In this process, your dentist removes the decayed pulp and cleans the infected part. The next step involves filling the tooth with a temporary filling, followed by a permanent one after some weeks.
When your tooth is damaged to a level that the pulp can't be restored, the dentist may pull out the tooth. If you don't get it removed, the rest of the teeth become prone to damage. Once you get your tooth extracted, there are several restoration options that you can choose. Some tooth restoration solutions are dental implants, bridges, or crowns.
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, results from a poor oral healthcare routine. It can worsen if you have an unhealthy lifestyle and eat certain types of food. Bad breath may also indicate other severe dental conditions like gingivitis. It generally happens when you eat food with a strong odor like onions and garlic. Their smell doesn't go away until the food passes through your body completely. The food that you eat starts to break down in your mouth. It also gets absorbed in your bloodstream and then into your lungs, affecting the air you release. On the contrary, those who don't eat sufficient food can also have bad breath. It is because of the chemicals released due to the breaking down of fat in your body.
When you don't brush and floss your teeth daily, food particles remain stuck between the teeth and promote the growth of bacteria. It causes bad breath. Chewing and smoking tobacco products also causes halitosis, stains the teeth, and reduces your ability to taste the food.
You can treat the condition of bad breath by visiting your dentist. Your dentist will monitor your oral health and determine the cause of bad breath. Sometimes, being on medications can also contribute to this problem. If your dentist can't determine the reason, they will refer you to a periodontist specializing in treating gum conditions.
- Brush your teeth after you eat. As the bacteria on your tongue can cause bad breath, don't forget to clean your tongue using a tongue scraper. Even if you can't brush your teeth, you should rinse your mouth thoroughly after every meal.
- Using an antiseptic mouthwash eliminates the odor-causing bacteria. If you have a dry mouth, your dentist may also recommend you to use artificial saliva.
- Floss your teeth once a day to get rid of the food particles stuck between your teeth. If you wear dentures, you should remove them at night and clean them before wearing them the following morning. Braces and retainers should be cleaned as suggested by your dentist.
- Drinking a lot of water will keep your mouth moist and will stimulate the production of saliva. You can also chew sugar-free chewing gums and mints containing xylitol.
- Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet as it helps in cleansing the bacteria that cause bad breath. Also, note down the food items that you eat. If you think of any food items that cause the odor, you can take the list to your dentist.
Periodontitis, also known as gum disease, is a severe dental problem that infects the soft gum tissues. If left untreated, it can harm the bone that supports your tooth. Periodontitis develops over the plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that covers your teeth. When you eat starchy and sugary food, it combines with the bacteria in your mouth and forms plaque. If you don't clean your teeth properly, this plaque hardens under the gum and forms tartar. The longer tartar remains on your teeth, the more damage it causes. To get rid of the tartar, you need to visit your dentist and get it removed professionally.
Plaque can also cause gingivitis, which is an inflammatory condition affecting the base of your teeth. It is a mild gum disease that you can treat by visiting your dentist and taking proper oral care at home. But, if you don't treat your gum inflammation, it creates pockets between your gums and teeth. These pockets fill with more bacteria, plaque, and tartar and become big. It results in loss of tissue and bone surrounding your teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss.
The treatment of periodontitis involves cleaning the pockets around the teeth. It prevents the buildup of bacteria so that it doesn't damage the bone. It is also essential that you have a good oral care routine and stop consuming tobacco, as it harms your teeth.
If the problems aren't severe, they can be treated with non-surgical processes such as scaling and root planing. In scaling, the dentist removes the tartar and bacteria from the base of your teeth. For this, ultrasonic devices or a laser is generally used. Whereas, in Root Planing, the root of the teeth are smoothed out so that bacteria and tartar don't build upon them. Another solution is the prescription of antibiotics. Local antibiotics are injected into the pockets through mouthwashes and gels. It might be necessary to take oral antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria causing the infection. In case you have advanced periodontitis, you may require any of the following surgical treatments.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
In this treatment process, the dentist makes small incisions in your gums. It is followed by lifting the tissue and exposing the root. The dentist then performs scaling and root planing. As periodontitis results in bone loss, the bone beneath the gums may require remodeling before fixing back the tissue. Once you heal, you can maintain healthy teeth and gums from then on.
Soft Tissue Grafts
Your gum line recedes when you start losing your gum tissue. To treat this problem, some of your damaged soft tissue might need to be reconstructed. Your dentist will do this by taking a small amount of tissue from your mouth or any other source and attach it to the required site. It not only protects the roots of your teeth but also enhances your appearance.
When the bone around your teeth gets destroyed, your periodontist will perform a bone graft to hold your tooth in place. The graft can be small parts of your bone or synthetic. Bone grafts prevent the loss of teeth and act as a platform for the regrowth of your natural bone.
Guided Tissue Regeneration
In this procedure, the dentist places a unique biocompatible fabric between your tooth and existing bone. It prevents the growth of bacteria and the building up of unwanted tissue in the healing area so that your damaged bone can grow back.
Missing teeth impacts your ability to chew food and speak. It also affects your self-esteem and overall well-being. There can be several reasons for tooth loss, such as injury, decay, and gum disease. When your gums get infected, it may result in bone loss, and teeth become too weak to remain functional. In such a case, your dentist extracts one or more of your teeth. Another leading cause of tooth loss is sports injury and trauma. When teeth are fractured or chipped due to injury, they need to be removed. The dentist will do so to prevent periodontal disease. In case of trauma, you might not be able to recognize any dental problem until the infection increases and becomes painful. Sometimes, even after treating the injured tooth, the cell of your body attacks the root of your tooth and breaks down its structure. It eventually leads to tooth loss.
An uncommon cause for tooth loss is a condition called hypodontia.
People with this condition are born without one or more teeth. Another condition is Anodontia, in which the teeth of a person don't develop at all. When a person has any of the above conditions in which teeth are absent naturally, their baby teeth remain intact till they fail or get removed.
Depending upon your dental condition, you may get any of the following teeth restoration treatments.
A denture is a removable tooth replacement solution. It is also known as false teeth and is prosthetic equipment designed to replace missing teeth. Dentures are supported by the neighboring hard and soft muscles of the oral cavity. They can be either partial or complete. In case when all the teeth are missing, complete dentures are used. But if you have natural teeth present and only a few teeth are missing, partial dentures are perfect.
A dental bridge consists of a crown placed at the site of tooth loss. The crown of the dental bridge is supported by the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. Dentists recommend dental bridges to patients who have multiple teeth missing in a row. Installing a dental bridge enhances your appearance and maintains the alignment of the teeth.
Dental implants are one of the best teeth restorative options available as they look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. It is prosthetic equipment that is inserted into the jaw surgically. This equipment functions as the root of the tooth. It is topped with a dental crown that looks like your natural tooth. For people who have one or more teeth missing, a dental implant is a great option. Implants have several benefits over traditional tooth restoration methods, including enhanced comfort, speech, and eating ability. Dental implants Jackson Township NJ also protect your teeth, prevent bone loss and stimulate their growth.
When your teeth grow improperly and become misaligned and twisted, this condition is known as dental crowding. In proper teeth alignment, every tooth gets the right amount of space to grow so that they are neither clustered at a place nor away from each other forming gaps. Your teeth should line up in such a way that the top set of teeth sits over the bottom one. And it should cause any discomfort while you bite down your food. However, not everyone's teeth grow properly and stay aligned. Because of the size of the jaw, some people have teeth that grow unnaturally due to lack of space. It results in crooked and protruded teeth. Crooked teeth may lead to a variety of problems like decay and cavities. Hence, it is essential to treat the crowding effect under the supervision of your dentist.
Dental crowding can be caused by several external factors or genetics. When your jaw is small, your teeth will compete for the limited space. It impacts the growth of adjacent teeth. Other causes of tooth crowding include premature loss of baby teeth, having irregular teeth growth, large teeth, and extra teeth. Some people may have one tooth twisted. And an entire row of teeth may grow improperly in some people.
Tooth crowding can have severe effects on health if left untreated. It may cause a lot of pain and discomfort, especially when you eat and chew. Misaligned and protruded teeth may also make you feel embarrassed. But crowded teeth can be treated. All you need is to visit your dentist. Depending upon your condition, you may need any of the following treatments.
Braces are a very effective tool to treat dental crowding. They are used to align the teeth and direct them to the correct site. They also enhance your aesthetics and improve your chewing ability. Braces consist of wires, brackets, and bands. The wire puts pressure on your teeth constantly and encourages them to move. And the brackets and the bands are used to hold it in place.
In this process, the dentist uses a clear plastic aligner on your teeth to treat dental crowding. It is a very effective and widely preferred method because clear aligners are nearly invisible. It not only provides quicker and better results than conventional braces but also improves aesthetics. For teenagers and adults having crowded teeth, Invisalign is an efficient treatment option.
When you have very crowded teeth, it becomes necessary to have some of them extracted. The extra teeth that aren't required for oral well-being cause teeth crowding. In the tooth extraction treatment process, your dental surgeon will remove your extra teeth. Once you heal, your orthodontist will guide the remaining teeth to align correctly.
It generally takes up to six months for your teeth to become stable at the new position after treatment. Sometimes your teeth may slip back to their original places even after you get your dental crowding treated. It is known as relapse. To prevent this, dentists provide a dental retainer to keep the teeth in position. They are made of metal or plastic and are removable.
Maintaining Your Oral Health
Not paying attention to your oral health and bad practices can cause several problems. Ensuring dental hygiene and treating any conditions at the initial stage reverses the dental problem. It also prevents it from worsening further. It is necessary to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Though caring for your teeth and following an oral care routine may not be easy, it is always best to adapt to these habits at a young age. Routine visits to your dentist not only ensure healthy teeth but also prevents any developing dental problems. Taking your child to the dentist will also make them familiar with the dental setting.
At Jackson Dental, you get patient-centered dental care in a convenient setting. Whether it is about regular dental checkups or a dental condition, our highly skilled dental team is here to take your care. We understand that dental appointments can be overwhelming. But we don't leave any stone unturned to make you feel comfortable walking through the process. When you consult with us, we thoroughly examine your oral conditions, and our state-of-the-art facilities allow us to provide you the best dental care. Don't let dental problems stress you out. Ensure superior oral health and get your best smile with Jackson Dental.
Dental problems are very prevalent as most people in today's world have one or another type of it. However, many people don't take oral problems seriously until it gets worse. With a proper dental care routine and regular checkups, you can have sound oral health for the long term. Even if you suffer from a dental condition, you shouldn't be embarrassed about it. Visit your dentist at the earliest, or else one dental issue may lead to another. It is the job of your dentist to ensure your oral well-being. Hence, take care of your teeth and never hold yourself back from visiting a dental clinic.