If you were to ask one hundred people to name a dental problem which they have experienced, we are certain that the vast majority of them would mention a cavity needing to be filled or tooth extraction. Given that these are the two most common treatments which dentists have to administer that is hardly surprising.
However, and we are sure you know this already, other dental problems exist, and for those that suffer from them, they can not only be extremely painful but in the worst cases, totally debilitating. You might be lucky enough to have not suffered from these yourself, but it is still useful to be aware of them, to try to avoid them.
The number one dental problem people experience, tooth decay is what leads to cavities, toothache, and in the worst cases, the need for a tooth to be extracted. The main cause is bacteria called plaque building up on the teeth due to the sugar in food and drinks, and compounded by poor oral care, such as not brushing or flossing daily.
Also called periodontal disease, this occurs when the tissue that supports and surrounds your teeth becomes infected. There are various forms of gum disease with the most common being gingivitis, which is a frequent cause of tooth loss. Gum disease can be kept at bay by proper dental hygiene. Your dentist can also spot the early signs of gum disease allowing for more effective treatment.
The enamel on the outside of your teeth is thought to be the hardest substance in your body, but even that does not make it invincible. Sugary food and drinks, high levels of gastric reflux, plus the general wear and tear that teeth experience, can all lead to tooth enamel erosion. This leaves teeth less protected, and as enamel cannot be replaced naturally, it is certainly worth doing all you can to avoid it being diminished.
If you did not wash your clothes they would soon look grimy and discoloured and that same principle applies to your teeth, only instead of a washing machine, you use a toothbrush and toothpaste. Food, drink, and tobacco are all culprits, although discolouration can also occur due to other medical conditions. Thankfully, your teeth can be whitened using DIY whitening products, although the recommendation is that you let your dentist whiten them.
More a symptom, than a cause, sensitive teeth are particularly prevalent when eating and drinking hot or cold food and drink. Underlying dental problems such as tooth decay, cavities and eroded enamel all intensify the discomfort and pain. Special kinds of toothpaste are available, plus having the underlying condition fixed by your dentist will help.
Broken / Cracked Teeth
Unfortunately broken or cracked teeth can happen even to those who are meticulous about their dental care and oral hygiene. Accidents, such as whilst playing a sport, or by biting something especially hard, are the top two culprits. Treatments include fillings, veneers, crowns, and dental implants.
Having crooked teeth not only impacts your smile, but it can create other issues such as a misaligned bite. Whilst primarily an issue often resolved when we are children, many adults will also need treatment for crooked teeth too. This can involve metal or ceramic braces, aligners and retainers being fitted, often for several months.