We all know to visit the dentist twice a year for an examination and cleaning. However, other dental problems can arise at any time. Consulting a dentist is essential to resolving an underlying issue. Here are five common problems that your dentist can help with:
Bad breath, or halitosis, can have a variety of causes including:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Dry mouth
- Some foods and beverages
- Digestive problems
- Lung disease
Since bad breath can have so many underlying causes, it may be worthwhile to talk to your dentist about any halitosis you experience. In the event that it is caused by dry mouth, your family dentist may be able to find an underlying cause or suggest treatments or medications to help promote saliva flow.
Like bad breath, stained teeth may be caused by bad behaviors such as drinking coffee, using tobacco, or forgetting to brush your teeth. Additionally, advancing age and some medications can contribute to the discoloration of your teeth. Discussing discolored or stained teeth with your dentist may identify possible lifestyle changes that you can make to lead a healthier life.
Depending on the cause, your dentist may be able to suggest tooth whitening products or perform in-office tooth whitening procedures. Professional tooth whitening usually provides longer-lasting results than home tooth whitening products because professionals are able to use stronger bleaching agents. Typically, a bleaching agent is applied to the teeth, then activated by the application of heat or light. Teeth whitening usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes and can result in teeth that are three to eight shades lighter.
Tooth pain is a catch-all concept that may encompass many different types of pain. Examples of tooth pain that you may want to discuss with your dentist include:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food or drinks
- Pain while chewing
- Painful or sore jaw
- Chronic ache or stabbing pain in tooth
Tooth pain is a symptom, rather than a condition in itself. Common causes of tooth pain includes:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Injury to the teeth or jaw
- Sensitive teeth
- Abscess (or infection)
Tooth pain not only causes you discomfort, but it can also be a sign of a serious problem, such as an abscessed tooth. If left untreated, this form of infection can cause severe tissue damage or spread to other areas of your mouth. Always visit the dentist if you’re experiencing tooth pain.
Like tooth pain, painful gums can be a sign of a more serious problem. Possible causes of gum pain include:
- Gum disease
- Injury to the gums from an impact or cutting
- Canker sores
- Swelling due to inflammation
- Poor or improper dental hygiene
Gum disease is one of the more likely causes of gum pain. Gum disease occurs when bacteria infect the gums. Frequently, gum disease can be prevented with good dental hygiene. Lack of good dental hygiene can lead to plaque buildup and tartar along the gum line. Treatment usually requires professional removal of plaque and tartar from the teeth.
Chipped teeth are almost always caused by physical damage. Possible causes include grinding your teeth, biting a hard object, or suffering from an impact.
Visibly chipped teeth are often considered a cosmetic problem. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t suffer social repercussions as a result. Chipped teeth can lead to social withdrawal and lowered self-esteem. According to research by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 99.7% of adults believe that a healthy smile is important to their social life. Aside from its cosmetic effects, chipped teeth can also be painful, weaken the tooth, and cut soft tissues inside the mouth.
Depending on the extent of the damage to the tooth, chipped teeth may be treated with a filling, dental bonding, dental crown, or dental veneer. If the interior of the tooth has been damaged, a root canal may also be performed.
Consulting with your dentist about dental problems that arise is essential. Contact Lynnwood Dental when you’re ready to improve your smile and stop pain from leading your life.