cause of teeth problems

The 7 Most Common Dental Problems [& Prevention Tips]

Having a sudden dental problem can ruin your day (and night). Sudden sharp pain or deep throbbing can fill normal tasks like chewing or even breathing with anxiety. To help with these issues, we’ve compiled a list of the most common dental problems and how to prevent them.

We’ll look at:

  1. Cavities
  2. Gum disease
  3. Bad breath
  4. Sensitive teeth
  5. Mouth sores
  6. Toothaches
  7. Teeth grinding

1. Cavities

Cavities are the second-most common disease for humans across the globe, with the common cold being #1. They’re caused by tooth decay, which is the result of plaque buildup eating away at the tooth’s enamel. This process erodes the enamel and slowly works its way through each layer of the tooth until it reaches the center, or pulp, of the tooth. 

Preventing cavities is much easier (and cheaper) than treating them. Follow a basic oral hygiene regimen of brushing twice per day for two minutes and flossing at least once a day after eating. Top that off with regular dental appointments and you’ll be well on your way to being cavity-free.

Check out our blog Everything You Need to Know About Cavities to learn more about the causes, signs, and treatment of cavities.

2. Gum Disease

Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss and nearly half of Americans have some form of it. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease occurs when gum tissue becomes inflamed. It causes pain and bleeding in the gums in its early stages before advancing into periodontitis

Like with the majority of dental problems, gum disease can be prevented with basic oral hygiene. However, it can also help to establish your risk since other factors can play a role in developing the disease.

This can include:

  • Age
  • Tobacco use
  • Genetics
  • Nutrition
  • Medications

To learn more about gum disease and how to prevent it, check out our blog 5 Ways to Prevent Gum Disease.

3. Bad Breath

We all have bad breath from time to time, whether it’s morning breath or eating a meal with lots of (delicious) garlic. But sometimes bad breath is due to more than what you eat. It could actually be a persistent form of bad breath known as halitosis. Persistent bad breath can be caused by poor oral hygiene, but it can also be the result of oral diseases like periodontitis

Basic oral hygiene is a great start to fighting bad breath. However, halitosis may require the diagnosis of a more serious condition or disease to be properly treated. In these cases, your best bet is to come in for a dental appointment. This will give us the chance to give you a full examination and see if there are any deeper issues causing your bad breath.

Are you struggling with persistent bad breath or other dental problems? Schedule your appointment today to get the treatment you deserve!

4. Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth are a common problem with some people actually having more naturally sensitive teeth than others. On the other hand, sensitivity can also be due to gradual enamel loss. This can occur for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Brushing too hard
  • Using a brush with hard bristles
  • Gum disease
  • Consuming acidic foods and drinks
  • Broken or chipped teeth

One of the best ways to prevent sensitivity is to switch up your hard-bristle brush for one with soft bristles. You should also try to brush your teeth more gently to reduce agitation. Avoid acidic and sugary foods and drinks, and opt for teeth-friendly foods with lots of calcium and protein.

5. Mouth Sores

Mouth sores come in all shapes and sizes. Common mouth sores include:

  • Canker sores
  • Fever blisters / cold sores
  • Oral thrush (candidiasis)

Canker sores can be prevented by avoiding mouth-irritating foods that are spicy and acidic. Using a soft-bristled brush and flossing can also help remove irritants.  Fever blisters and cold sores can be prevented by avoiding triggers such as sun, wind, and stress. Avoid oral thrush by limiting your sugar intake and following good oral hygiene practices.

In most cases, they’ll disappear after a couple of weeks and you’ll have nothing to worry about. Make sure to contact us if you have one that lasts for longer than that, or has become worse over time.

6. Toothaches

Toothaches tend to have 3 main causes:

  • Infection
  • Cavities
  • Injury

Bacteria is always present in the mouth, but they can develop into an infection once they get inside your teeth. Cavities eat away at the enamel of your teeth, weakening them and eventually exposing the root. Injuries like cracked or broken teeth also weaken the tooth, making it prone to sensitivity.

Good oral hygiene like brushing and flossing can help prevent these problems. Unfortunately, these problems can still occur even under the best of circumstances. That’s why regular dental appointments are so important. They give us an opportunity to catch problems in their early stages and address them before they have a chance to get any worse.

For more about toothaches, check out our blog Reasons for a Toothache [And How to Get Relief].

7. Teeth Grinding

Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is when you grind or clench your teeth without realizing it. This can happen while you’re awake as well as when you’re sleeping. Many teeth grinders don’t realize they do it, so it helps to spot the signs — sensitive teeth, facial pain, chipped or cracked teeth.

Teeth grinding is often caused by stress. To help reduce stress in your life, it can help to find little ways to practice mindfulness. You can do this in little ways throughout your day, such as:

  • Mindful breathing
  • Body scanning
  • Mindful eating
  • Mindful movement

You can even practice mindfulness while brushing your teeth! To learn how, check out our blog Oral Anxiety: 5 Mindfulness Practices for Coping With Stress

You’re likely to face many dental problems in your life. The best preventative steps you can take is to practice good oral hygiene and see us for regular dental appointments. Sometimes it’s a matter of patience, like waiting out a mouth sore. Mindfulness can help with problems such as teeth grinding, which are the result of stress.

Do you have a dental problem that needs treatment? Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Captains Way Dentistry has two locations in Knoxville to better serve you. You can call Captains Way West at (865) 691-1121 or you can schedule an appointment online. To make an appointment with Captains Way East, call (865) 544-1711 or make an appointment online.

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