Your smiles and laughs can tell a great deal about your personality and often leave worthwhile impressions about you. As you may not be aware, these small details can significantly reflect how much you value your health and well-being. Among numerous health aspects, your oral and dental health can demonstrate telltale indications about the overall condition of your health and wellness.

A Statistical Check On The Oral And Dental Landscape

According to the FDI World Dental Federation, 3.9 billion people worldwide are impacted by a spectrum of oral diseases, and 44% of the world’s population has untreated tooth decay. Most individuals don’t see the significance of maintaining their oral and dental health, and only consult dental professionals once their condition has taken a turn for the worse.

Additionally, oral and dental conditions land fourth on the most expensive health treatments and procedures, which are more costly investments than cancer and respiratory care. Because of this, middle to lower classes mostly can’t afford primary oral and dental care, compromising their health in the long run.

Taking Care Of Your Oral And Dental Health


Looking at this situation, some people might not be aware that they’re putting their oral and dental health on the line due to their lifestyle practices. The importance of seeking professional help comes into the picture. Whether you’re experiencing a dental issue or not, professional assistance is always crucial to your oral and dental health.

With this in mind, today’s discussion will revolve around the most common dental problems you might encounter at some point in your life, and helpful tips on managing them:

1. Tooth Decay


As previously mentioned in the statistics, tooth decay is a dental condition that usually remains unchecked and untreated. Most individuals think that tooth decay isn’t something serious, thus they neglect check-up and treatment. But what really is tooth decay, and how serious is it?

Tooth decay, or dental cavity, happens when your tooth enamel softens and becomes damaged due to plaque and dirt buildup between the spaces of your teeth. Bacteria and plaque inevitably accumulate on your mouth and teeth, but one can prevent tooth decay through simple dental practices, such as:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily to eliminate plaque
  • Floss once to twice daily to remove deep-seated dirt
  • Avoid excessive intake of sugary foods

When plaque feeds on the food you eat, especially sugary food with high sugar and starch content, they produce acids that break down your tooth enamel. As they attack the protective coating of your teeth, it leads to holes requiring fillings.


2. Tooth Crowding


Not all individuals are blessed with beautiful and aligned teeth. Some people naturally have an unattractive smile due to various dental cosmetic impairments. While these aren’t technically a dental problem, a cosmetic issue known as tooth crowding can lead to a variety of dental issues.

Tooth crowding occurs when there are too many teeth that should normally fit in your jaw. Your teeth can either be displaced, rotated, or have irregular sizes in different orientations. Commonly, crowding is caused by the following reasons:

  • Early or late primary teeth loss
  • A genetic anomaly between the size of jaw and tooth
  • Inappropriate growth and eruption of teeth

Fortunately, tooth crowding can be corrected orthodontically through tooth extraction to create space and tooth alignment using braces. Ensure that you’re getting licensed and skilled professionals to perform these procedures. Visit this website for one of the best cosmetic and digital dentistry experts: https://www.thevillagedentalcenter.com/.

Once left uncorrected, tooth crowding can exacerbate into an alignment disorder known as temporomandibular jaw disorder (TMJ). 


3. Periodontal Disease


Your gums have a crucial role in tooth support, but they’re often overlooked. As estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47% of adults develop some form of gum disease in their 30s onwards. Gum or periodontal diseases are more prevalent in adults, which eventually results in tooth loss.

Gum disease is the inflammation and infection of the surrounding gums of your teeth due to the toxins released by plaque. Generally, there are two classifications of periodontal diseases:

  • Gingivitis: A mild form of periodontal disease that occurs on the onset of the condition. In gingivitis, the gums appear to be red, swollen, and occasionally bleed.
  • Periodontitis: When gingivitis is left untreated, it worsens to an advanced form of gingivitis called periodontitis. In these cases, infection proceeds beyond the gum line, further destroying the bones and tissues that support the teeth.

To prevent developing and worsening your gum disease, make sure that your oral and dental structure is checked first by your dentist. Regular dental examinations are essential for prevention. Along with check-ups, oral and dental hygiene must be thoroughly observed.

Furthermore, some individuals with the following medical and lifestyle conditions are more susceptible to periodontal diseases:

  • Leukemia, cancer, and HIV/AIDS
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes and obesity
  • Vitamin C deficiency
  • Recreational drug use
  • Tobacco smoking and chewing
  • Hormonal changes due to menopause and pregnancy

To manage this condition, experts utilize surgical and non-surgical treatments. Some notable surgical procedures encompass periodontal pocket reduction and gum graft surgery, while non-surgical methods are antibiotic medications, root planing, and scaling.


4. Root Infection


When the dental problem starts at the root of your tooth, you’ll have to receive examination and treatment immediately. However, it can be challenging to assess the condition yourself, especially in mild cases of root infection.

Root infection or tooth infection is a dental condition where the bottom part, or the root of your tooth, becomes infected and filled with bacteria. A root infection attacks the soft tissues at the center of your tooth, known as the pulp. Bacteria reach this hidden part of your tooth through cavities, crevices, and fractures on your tooth.

The most effective and recommended procedure for a tooth infection is a root canal treatment. In this process, your dentist will drill a hole on top of your infected tooth and use a specific file to create a passageway through the root. Then, suction equipment will eliminate the infected pulp nerves and tissue to prevent further growth of infection. Lastly, your dentist will fill the hollow structure with gutta-percha and seal it for protection.

After the procedure, a consistent oral and dental hygiene routine will stop the bacterial infection from occurring again. Some oral and dental tips you can follow are:

  • Take OTC pain medications after the procedure.
  • Use only a mild antibacterial mouthwash for days after your treatment.
  • Have the root canal checked from time to time.
  • Book an appointment for dental cleaning twice annually.
  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly.


5. Tooth Sensitivity

Being sensitive to external stressors is a challenge to human health, and your teeth aren’t safe from a vulnerable condition known as tooth sensitivity or dentinal hypersensitivity. Tooth sensitivity is characterized by pain and discomfort on your teeth and its surrounding structure after consuming food with extreme temperatures, such as ice cream, cold and hot beverages, and sweets. Even the cold air can affect your teeth.

Experiencing sensitivity on your teeth can be induced by a plethora of causes. Your tooth nerves are covered with a special layer called dentin. When dentin is exposed to the environment due to degradation, extreme brushing, use of tooth-whitening products, and many other reasons, your tooth develops sensitivity.

Thankfully, you can easily prevent tooth sensitivity through oral and dental care. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush when brushing your teeth and avoid doing it with brute force. Also, flossing and reduced consumption of sugary and acidic foods can stop your dentin from sensitivity exposure.


6. Bad Breath


Having unpleasant breath once in a while is a completely normal thing. However, consistent bad breath is a condition that has to be addressed right away to avoid embarrassment and, in worse cases, anxiety. Bad breath can significantly impact your quality of life.

Bad breath or halitosis is a result of various dental conditions occurring on your mouth. The following circumstances can give rise to unpleasant breath:

  • Inflammation and infection due to surgical wounds from tooth extraction, or caused by periodontal disease, mouth sores, and tooth decay
  • Dry mouth triggered by lack of hydration, medication intake, or an underlying oral condition
  • Mouth, nose, and throat issues like chronic inflammation or infection in the throat, nose, or sinuses
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Tobacco use
  • Sleeping with an open mouth

If you don’t experience these cases mentioned above, then it’s more likely that you only need to improve your oral and dental hygiene. A dirty mouth is the perfect breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria, so brush and floss your teeth religiously. Don’t forget to clean your tongue as well.


7. Dental Emergencies


Face and teeth trauma are common in physical accidents. These events are entirely unexpected during any time of the day and require an immediate visit to your dentist. Also, dental emergencies are common in children.

Aside from dental injuries due to accidents, sudden pain and discomfort are also considered a dental emergency. If you have suddenly experienced a toothache, a knocked out and fractured tooth, bleeding gums or mouth, and an infection, you need immediate dental attention.

Since you can’t anticipate a dental accident, administering first-aid and alerting your dentist about this event are your safest bets. Inquire about emergency dentists in case your family dentist can’t attend to you during off hours.

Bottom Line

Achieving a healthy smile isn’t difficult at all, as long as you maintain excellent oral hygiene and keep up with your dental appointments. Since some people can’t religiously practice oral hygiene due to varying circumstances, dental problems can happen at least once in a person’s lifetime.

Whether you have the best oral and dental condition recently or not, it’s essential to be informed of the common dental problems discussed above so you would know how to deal with them if it happens to you.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Common Dental Problems And How To Manage Them," in Medicalopedia, June 25, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9000/common-dental-problems-and-how-to-manage-them/].