You probably know how dental problems can be a literal “pain” to deal with. You might think that the pain will disappear “sooner or later” and that there’s no need nor time to schedule a dental appointment any time soon.
The truth is, that dental issues can also be your body’s way of telling you that there are other serious health problems coming your way. That’s why regular checkups, can help you not only better your smile but help you prevent more serious medical problems from happening in the future.
Check out this article about some common tooth problems. You’ll soon learn to recognize these symptoms and why they necessitate a trip to see your dentist now and not later.
Common Tooth Problems
Dental diseases are sometimes connected with other health concerns like cardiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis or bronchial infections. Here are just seven types of dental diseases to be on the lookout for:
1. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth (or Xerostomia) strikes when you can’t generate enough saliva in your mouth to clean your gums or your teeth. Saliva contains antibacterial that helps eliminate plaque from our teeth. When we age, we can’t produce as much saliva when we were younger. That’s why we eventually develop more tooth decay and cavities.
Dry mouth is also a possible side effect of taking prescription medicine. Prescription medicine may be helping you conquer more significant medical symptoms that take priority over cavities or tooth decay. Drinking more water is an effective way to prevent dental disease and increase your saliva production.
2. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
A Temporomandibular Joint is the “hinge” muscle that attaches your mouth to your skull. These muscles allow you to open and close your mouth so that you can speak, eat and yawn. A TMJ disorder is characterized by clicking sounds in your jaw when you chew or yawn and creates pain in your jaw movement just below your ear.
TMJ can be linked to stress because it’s believed to cause teeth grinding while you sleep. Doctors will ask you to identify the sources of your stress in your life to help cure your TMJ symptoms. Sometimes, a patient may also begin to also wear a mouthguard to bed to help protect their teeth.
3. Gum Disease
Middle-age adults over the age of 30 are prone to gum disease, The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that half of all adults over 30 are diagnosed with gum disease. Gum disease occurs when the gum tissue surrounding your teeth become infected.
Gum disease comes in two forms; periodontitis and gingivitis. Adults infected with gingivitis will have gums that are red, bleeding and swollen. Periodontitis is a progressive stage of gingivitis that deteriorates gums as well as teeth-supporting bones.
Adults with pre-existing health conditions like diabetes and heart disease are also susceptible to gum disease. You can read more now about recent breakthroughs in dental treatments to fight gum disease. These new treatments use less invasive procedures to produce more predictable results.
Toothaches occur when the tooth’s inner core, (the “pulp”) is irritated. The pulp holds the tooth’s blood vessels and nerves that supply the tooth’s nutrients. The pulp spreads down each canal and root found in the tooth until it reaches the tip of the tooth.
Toothaches appear when the dental pulp is inflamed. This ailment is also known as pulpitis. The bacterial infection creates Pulpitis and is commonly found in other dental issues like impacted wisdom teeth or a cracked tooth.
5. Root Infection
When a pocket of bacteria and dying tooth pulp grows inside your tooth’s root canal, you will have what’s called a root infection. When severe Root infection symptoms include painful facial swelling. When this occurs, it’s time to get immediate emergency dental care.
When your dentist diagnoses a root infection, they will perform what’s called a root canal procedure. This procedure involves drilling at the top of the infected tooth to clean out any bacteria and infected pulp accumulating inside. When the infected bacteria is removed, the tooth is then packed with dental strengthening materials that prevent bacteria from infecting inside the tooth’s canal.
6. Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is a flash of pain you might feel when a hot or cold substance passes over your teeth. Patients with these tooth disorders sometimes report feeling sudden, sharp rushes of pain when they inhale cold air. Others describe a similar sensation when they brush and floss their teeth.
Each tooth’s pulp is protected by a surrounding layer of tissue called Dentin. When the tooth’s Dentin is exposed or unprotected, the pulp’s blood vessels and other nerves get inflamed. Dentin tissue can be weakened by teeth whitening treatment or harsh brushing.
Patients suffering from tooth sensitivity can try various at-home treatments such as high fluoride toothpaste or fluoride rinse. They can also talk to their dentist to see if Dentin sealer treatment is an effective remedy for their condition.
7. Oral Cancer
The Oral Cancer Foundation reports that oral cancer causes over 9,000 deaths in the US every year and kills one person per hour. Adults 40 years old and older who chew tobacco, have high alcohol consumption or smoke have a high risk of contracting this disease.
Symptoms for oral mouth or throat cancer include sores and lumps inside the mouth. Other symptoms might include difficulties swallowing and chewing food as well as troubles with moving their tongue. Ask your dentist if they can do a routine oral cancer exam during your next checkup to make sure you’re cancer-free.
Do these common tooth problems sound familiar to you? Have you been procrastinating and avoiding your dental checkups because you just don’t “have the time”? Maybe this article will change your thinking and encourage you to move to the phone right now.
Ask your dentist about healthy brushing and flossing habits. If you’re over 30, ask your dentist about gum disease treatments like antibiotics or gum grafting surgery. These treatments can help prevent complications in the future.
Don’t forget to check our website for more helpful advice on how to maintain better dental health. We’ll help you “brush up” on more ways to keep your smile the best that it can be.