Everyone is bound to run into some sort of dental problem at some point in their life. According to the CDC, adults lose more than 164 million hours of work per year due to oral health problems and dental visits. In addition, about 14 percent of adults between the ages of 45 and 54 are affected by severe gum disease. Learning how to prevent common dental problems is extremely important – after all, a healthy body starts with a healthy mouth!
Mouth Sores – Also known as a canker sore, these shallow craters found on your tongue, inner lip or inner cheek are a very common dental health problem. The exact cause of mouth sores is unknown, but they can be triggered by a lack of vitamins (typically B12), sensitivity to acidic foods, emotional stress or brushing your teeth too hard. If you find yourself experiencing mouth sores often, pay attention to the toothpaste and mouthwash you are using; products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate have been known to cause mouth sores and/or continue to aggravate them. Other ways of prevention include getting plenty of sleep to reduce stress and brushing gently!
Sensitive Teeth – If you have ever bitten into something either too cold or too hot and flinched from the sharp pain, there is a good chance you have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is experienced due to thinning enamel or gum recession- both leading to dentin, the soft layer beneath your gums, being exposed. Dentin makes up the inner part and roots, which have thousands of tiny tubes that act as channels for the trigger to reach the nerve center. This common dental problem is usually the result of brushing too hard, using teeth whitening products or too much acidic food and/or drinks. To prevent or put an end to your tooth sensitivity, try brushing more gently, avoiding highly acidic foods/drinks and switching to sensitive toothpaste.
Tooth Decay – Tooth decay occurs when enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth, is either destroyed or damaged. This damage is the result of constant plaque buildup on teeth. Eventually, the bacteria from this plaque begin to form acids, and due to stickiness, cause these acids to be in constant contact with your teeth. This leads to tooth decay and the formation of cavities. In order to prevent tooth decay, it is important that you brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, floss regularly and visit Foley Dental Group twice a year!
Tooth Infection – A tooth infection, also known as an abscessed tooth, is an infection at the root of the tooth or in between the gum and the tooth. This is a result of severe tooth decay (above) or trauma to the tooth, such as chips or breaks that go unfixed. Such damages cause openings in the tooth enamel, allowing bacteria to enter and infect the very center of the tooth (the pulp). Symptoms of a tooth infection include fever, pain when chewing or even foul-smelling breath. In order to prevent a tooth infection, practice daily oral hygiene or be sure to visit us right after a tooth chip or break may occur!
Gum Disease – Although it is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, gum disease is easily avoidable. When plaque and bacteria build up on and in between teeth, gums will eventually become inflamed and bleed while brushing teeth. This form of gum disease is referred to as gingivitis. Though the gums may be irritated, this is not permanent damage – it can easily be reversed when proper oral hygiene is practiced. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can eventually advance to another form of gum disease- periodontitis. Periodontitis means the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These pockets will deepen due to bacteria, and gum and bone tissue become destroyed, leading to tooth loss. Again, this can all be avoided by brushing, flossing, and visiting us regularly!
Dental problems are bound to occur but in almost every case, prevention starts with one task…practicing daily oral hygiene! If you do begin to notice any of these issues, don’t allow anything to go unchecked! Request an appointment with Foley Dental Group by calling (618) 288-9670 or at www.foleydentalgroup.com!