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10 most common dental problems

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1.    Bad breath

Halitosis or bad breath is caused by a number of reasons, mainly, tooth decay, gum disease, a coated tongue and dry mouth. Good oral hygiene that includes brushing and flossing as well as cleaning the tongue can greatly reduce this problem.

2.    Tooth decay

Caused by demineralization of enamel, tooth decay or cavities are a very common dental problem among children. The main culprit is acid formed by oral bacteria from starches and sugars. Once cavities have been formed, restorative work in the form of fillings and crowns is the only option. The best defense against tooth decay is limiting snacking, good dental care and controlling dry mouth.

3.    Tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can be due to pulpitis, that is, inflammation of dental pulp or due to gum disease. If left untreated, it can lead to dental abscess or even apical periodontitis. Treatments consist of root canal treatment, apicoectomy or eventually tooth extraction.

Tooth erosion can also be a cause for tooth sensitivity. The main reason for this is often regurgitation of stomach contents. Additionally, acidic drinks and bulimia also contribute to this problem.

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4.    Gum disease

Another very common dental disorder is gum disease. Mild inflammation of gums is known as gingivitis whereas advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. Though gingivitis can be seen in teenagers too, periodontal disease is more commonly observed in later age.  The main cause here again is failure to remove plaque which hardens into tartar. In its advanced form it can damage the tissue and bone that support the teeth.

5.    Mouth sores and oral cancer

Mouth sores may be simple canker sores or ulcers in the mouth that are painful. These generally clear out on their own and have no specific cause, though nutritional deficiencies, sharp dental appliances or gastrointestinal disorders are sometimes to blame.

They can also be cold sores that are caused by the herpes virus and are extremely infectious. These are in the form of blisters that are filled with fluid. Unlike canker sores that are inside the mouth, cold sores occur on and around the lips.

Lesions in the mouth can be benign or cancerous. It is advisable to have any lesion in the mouth checked by a physician or a dentist if it persists. Oral cancer is curable only if detected in the initial stages.

6.     Wisdom teeth

Other than the common reasons like tooth decay and gum disease, toothache can also be caused by wisdom teeth. In some cases, there may not be sufficient space for wisdom teeth or they may erupt crooked. In this case there are increased chances of infection and pain.

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7.    Cosmetic problems

Crooked teeth may not be considered a dental problem as such, but they have considerable impact on the person’s self-confidence. A lot of people seek dental care for smile makeovers. Similarly, teeth whitening and gum lightening are other reasons for which dental care is needed.

8.    Teeth grinding or Bruxism

Bruxism or grinding your teeth can damage teeth as well as jaw pain or TMJ. This is observed more during night. The main culprit is said to be stress. The best treatment for bruxism is a mouthguard that is worn at night to protect the teeth.

9.    Poor bite

Poor bite can take the form of overbite or underbite. This can be due to problems in jaw development or due to habits like sucking thumbs or tongue thrust. It can lead to problems in chewing as well as speech. Orthodontic treatment or alignment of teeth is a major dental issue.

10.    Injury

Injury can lead to breaking of permanent teeth as well as jaw fractures. They may be caused by accident or through contact sports. In both the cases, immediate dental care can help to save the tooth. Failing this, dental implants can also be considered.

Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: February 03, 2015