Did you know that most mouth issues happen because people aren’t brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist? The truth is that healthy behaviors can improve a person’s oral health, but not knowing what is necessary or not having access to the right resources can make that impossible.
Even so, there are still individuals that do have access to resources and still have poor oral health. When someone starts to get one dental issue, it usually snowballs to create more issues. For instance, if you have tooth erosion, you likely also have various stages of tooth decay, gum disease, and/or bad breath.
Knowing what causes some of the more common mouth infections and general concerns will help with prevention.
Keep reading to find out about the top 9 mouth problems that may require a trip to the dentist.
1. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is a serious problem around the world for both adults and children. In fact, it’s the second most common health problem in the US after the common cold.
Most notably showcased as a cavity, tooth decay happens when plaque on your teeth mixes with sugar and starch from foods that you eat. This produces specific acids that are harmful to your tooth enamel.
No matter how old you are, you are susceptible to cavities. Poor dental hygiene, gaining, and dry mouth are all things that can contribute to tooth decay.
2. Gum Disease
Also called periodontal disease, gum disease is a type of infection in a person’s gums.
It can end up leading to tooth loss if it doesn’t get treated. Just like tooth decay, anyone can get gum disease. However, it is more common in people over the age of 30 and in smokers.
Symptoms of gum disease include things like pain while chewing, red or swollen gums, and sensitive teeth.
To avoid gum disease, you’ll want to practice good dental hygiene and get regular dental cleanings and check-ups.
3. Bad Breath
A lot of underlying dental conditions can end up leading to bad breath, also called halitosis, but it still can be an embarrassment for plenty of people that have to deal with it.
Some of the reasons that a person might have bad breath include:
- Tongue bacteria
- Gum disease
- Dry mouth
Mouthwash can help with bad breath, but if the person doesn’t get to the root of the problem, this is only a temporary fix. Talk to your dentist if you’re dealing with bad breath to see if you can find a more permanent solution.
4. Tooth Sensitivity
Another common issue is tooth sensitivity, which can be a sign of other dental concerns. Generally, people will notice the sensitivity when they have hot, cold, or sweet drinks and food.
When you have sensitive teeth, you might find that brushing or flossing your teeth is painful. This can lead to poor dental hygiene and more dental problems later on.
If you’re dealing with sensitive teeth, your dentist has treatments available that can help you before it gets worse.
5. Sores or Blisters
There are a lot of different types of mouth sores out there, and generally, they are nothing to worry about. Most will clear on their own within a week or two.
You might have canker sores, fever blisters, or thrush if you’re dealing with a common mouth sore. These are caused by different things, so talking to your dentist about what triggered or caused the sore(s) to come up can help prevent future sores.
Remember that fever blisters (cold sores) are actually contagious, so make sure to keep this in mind if you think that you might have this type of mouth sore.
6. Tooth Erosion
When your teeth lose the structure they need, they will start to erode. This is what will happen after tooth decay isn’t treated and acids continue to attack the tooth enamel.
Someone that is dealing with tooth erosion can feel sensitivity, pain, or even cracked teeth. The symptoms will vary based on the severity of the erosion.
If you have tooth erosion that led to teeth extraction, you may need dental implants. In addition to that, your health team may recommend jaw surgery to get your bite and tooth wear back on track. You can visit korbtaylor.com to get more information on what options you may have.
7. Imperfect Smile
While this isn’t necessary a dental concern in terms of medical necessity, it is a huge reason that people find themselves seeking dental treatment. People that don’t like their smile can struggle with embarrassment, low self-esteem, and even sadness.
The good news is that people that have a smile they don’t love can often talk to their dentist about treatment options. There are a variety of ways that dental health professionals can alter a smile, including:
- Teeth whitening
8. Tooth Pain
When you have sudden tooth pain, you might be a little bit freaked out. In some cases, this pain may be so intense that you need urgent treatment (just like in any other emergency).
If you notice that your tooth has cracked, abscessed, or fallen out, it’s important to make an immediate trip to the dentist. They will have someone on call during weekends or evening hours to handle emergencies, so don’t hesitate to call right away.
You might have tooth pain that comes and goes, so it doesn’t seem like an emergency. In most cases, you’re likely right. However, you still want to make an appointment with your dentist since it could be a cavity, nerve issue, or other dental concern that requires treatment.
9. Oral Cancer
Did you know that someone in the US dies of oral cancer each hour? It’s a serious and fatal disease that impacts millions of people, but it is often curable if caught in the early stages.
Regular dental visits are a great way to ensure that oral cancer is caught early, but always make sure that your dentist does an oral cancer exam as part of their check-up.
Symptoms to be aware of include:
- Rough parts of the mouth
- Difficulty moving the tongue
- Problems biting down
Recognize the Common Mouth Issues Out There
The key thing to remember with many mouth issues is that a dentist can help. Whenever you notice something that doesn’t seem right, give the professionals a call so that they can help you.
Always brush your teeth twice per day, floss at least once per day, and see your dentist every 6 months or so.
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