Some of the most common dental problems stem from dental care neglect. One thing that is absolutely true about the most common dental problems is if the problems are not addressed they will get worse and evolve into much more complicated problems.
One of the most common dental problems are cavities. Cavities, especially in children are one of the most preventable diseases, yet it is one of the most common childhood diseases. Most people put off going to the dentist until there is tooth pain.
Over 40% of Americans do not have dental insurance which impacts the availability of dental care, however, the average cost of a dental exam ranges from about $100 to $300 which is affordable for most people.
The fact is you have to prioritize dental care and get care for the most common dental problems before they erupt into complex dental issues. For example, a simple cavity can turn into a severe infection coupled with severe pain, and ultimately tooth loss when you do not address the problem early on.
Getting a regular dental check-up can help to treat small problems as they arise which of course, is more affordable and better for your oral health. If you are dealing with any of the most common dental problems, do not wait to get care.
There are several misconceptions and myths about the dentist that are commonly held beliefs. One of the top myths about the dentist is that going to the dentist is painful. The fact is for many people they are in pain when they go to the dentist and the dentist gets them out of pain.
The dentist takes the necessary steps to get you out of pain. Most every dental procedure requires the administration of a local anesthetic that numbs the area that is going to be worked on. The dentist will ask you several times throughout the procedure if you are comfortable. One of the dentist’s primary goals is to get you out of pain.
Another common myth about the dentist is that they will judge you harshly if you have neglected your teeth. The dentist is a professional that wants you to get the care that you need regardless of the condition of your teeth right now. They do not judge patients, they are there to help.
Affordability is another myth. A lot of people think that if they have to pay for dental care out of pocket that it would be cost-prohibitive, as mentioned earlier you can get started in many cases for as little as $100.
A lot of people think that if they are not experiencing dental pain that they do not need to visit the dentist. The fact is good oral health starts with regular check-ups. If you are not in pain, great, but you still need those bi-annual dental checks to make sure that nothing is brewing and ready to cause you some pain.
After Cavities It is Trauma
One of the most common dental problems after cavities is trauma. A bicycle accident, sports injuries, even biting into that too hard nut can cause trauma to your teeth. Trauma to your teeth can cause instant pain is some cases and in other cases initially, there is no pain but that you start to slip and fall into unbearable pain.
Trauma can result in chipped, cracked, and broken teeth that can be an invitation to decay. While tooth enamel is the hardest substance you will find in the body, it is not infallible. Enamel is tough but it is not a complete armor for your teeth, it can chip and crack and expose the inner layer of your teeth to infiltration from bacteria.
Once the enamel has been damaged on your teeth from any sort of trauma that tooth is in imminent danger of being infected by decay-causing bacteria. Getting help immediately following the event is the best way to protect the tooth or teeth.
Trauma to the teeth should always be followed up with dental care. Besides being a catalyst for decay trauma can cause:
- Teeth to shift out of place
- Affect the uninjured surrounding teeth
- Weaken teeth and or dislodge a tooth
Trauma to teeth can cause teeth to shift out of place and affect the surrounding teeth. It can be very painful when teeth are shoved out of place by a tooth that has been impacted. You can wind up with misaligned teeth that are crooked. Getting to the dentist fast can help to reposition the tooth before it becomes settled.
Affect To The Surrounding Teeth
Ignoring a tooth that has been affected by trauma can mean problems for your surrounding teeth. When decay sets in, it does not stay in one spot for long. Decay is actually contagious, it can travel from one tooth to another quickly.
What starts out as a single tooth problem can quickly turn into a whole mouth full of teeth problem. Getting to the dentist quickly can help to prevent decay from ever taking hold and can keep your surrounding teeth safe.
Weaken Your Teeth
The damage from a traumatic injury can work its way all the way down to the roots of your teeth and weaken the tooth. Of course, in some cases, a tooth can become dislodged due to trauma. If a tooth should become dislodged, especially in children, there may be a change to save the natural tooth and have it replaced in the socket. You do have to act quickly.
Wrap the dislodged tooth in a wet paper towel and hurry to the emergency dentist. If the roots are intact there is a good chance the tooth can be saved.
After decay and trauma some of the most common dental problems are orthodontic problems. This type of dental practice focuses on repairing misalignments of the teeth. About 4 million people in the US wear braces. Around 25% of those people that wear braces are adults.
There are largely two types of braces. There are traditional braces, made of metal and Invisalign braces that are the clear plastic-type of braces. An orthodontist is an expert to see to manage a wide range of misalignment problems.
The most common dental problems with alignments, overcrowded teeth, and other orthodontic issues can easily be managed by an experienced orthodontist. Today, there are more options than ever thanks to advances in dental technologies.
Typically, your first step is to see a general dentist, who will then refer you to an orthodontist if this type of care is needed. Many general dentists can manage smaller orthodontic problems. A general dentist may offer Invisalign bracing systems but the bigger dental problems really need the care of a specialist.
How Can You Avoid Some of the Most Common Dental Problems?
Good oral health is all about prevention. You have the power to take control of your dental health by following a good oral hygiene routine and a teeth healthy diet. While some things can not be planned for, like mouth trauma from a bicycle accident, basic maintenance can help with more predictable problems. With a little care, you can avoid many of the painful dental problems.
Your oral health regime should look like this:
- Brush and floss at a minimum two times a day
- Stay away from sweets and high acid foods and beverages
- Partner with a dentist in your oral health care
There is no substitution for brushing at least twice a day. You should actually be brushing after every meal, but sometimes it is not practical. The most important time to brush is the first thing in the morning. Your mouth produces far less saliva as you sleep which means there is less natural “washing” of your teeth occurring. A good brushing in the morning will help to remove the build-up of bacteria.
Most people do not brush their teeth long enough. They scrub around a bit but they miss out on some critical areas. The back molars are more prone to cavities because they are typically not brushed enough. There are a lot of crevices in back molars where tooth bugs can hide. Get back there and really brush.
Don’t forget to brush your tongue while you are at it, most people do not. Don’t skip out on flossing. Flossing helps to dislodge pieces of food and other debris that get between the teeth. A toothbrush cannot clean between the teeth.
If you have a hard time flossing talk to your dental hygienist at the dentist office about techniques. They can show you how to get the job done the right way. Regular brushing and flossing is your best defense against cavities.
One of the biggest dental health myths is those common dental problems are genetic. There is a small percentage of issues that you will inherit from your lineage like orthodontic problems, but cavities are not inherited. You can control the health of your teeth by controlling what you eat.
There are certain foods that are simply not conducive to good oral health. The bacteria that are found naturally in your mouth feed on sugar. When you consume a diet high in sugary foods and beverages you are helping that bacteria to thrive and grow and attack your teeth.
Avoiding foods that are sticky and sweet is important if you want good oral health but it is not only the obvious foods like gum, candy, and cakes there are other foods you want to avoid or at least eat in small amounts including:
- Citrus fruits and juices
- High acidic drinks and foods
- Any type of sticky foods including fruits
There are hidden sugars in so many different types of foods, even the foods that are good for you come with a risk. For example, oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits are all good for you but they can pose a danger to your teeth. Citrus fruits and juices have a high acid content and high sugar content. The acid can damage the enamel and of course, the sugar can feed the bacteria. Limit how much of this fruit and juice you consume.
Citrus fruits and juices are not the only high acid culprits that you are consuming. Coffee, tomatoes, any type of soda, and other carbonated beverages are all high acid foods that can affect the enamel on your teeth.
Foods That Stick To Your Teeth
Some foods are obviously an issue for good oral health like gummy candies and chewing gum but some are actually quite surprising. A banana is a good healthy snack most people would agree, but the fact is while it is healthy for your body it may not be so good for teeth.
The consistency of a banana is usually soft. Biting into a banana can leave your teeth coated with that sweet goodness which is unhealthy for your teeth. No one is saying that you should stop eating bananas. You do not have to give up bananas you just have to rinse your mouth after eating one.
A Good Rule of Thumb
Some of the things we consume are not so much how much we are consuming it but when we are consuming it. Avoid all sugary drinks and snacks after dinner. Do not drink fruit juices after 2 pm. Avoiding those sugary drinks and foods after a certain hour of the day can be key to making sure that bacteria do not have a chance to grow all night long while you sleep.
Partner with a dentist and keep your bi-annual appointment for a check-up whether you feel like you need it or not, adjust your diet accordingly and you will be able to avoid the most common dental problems while receiving the best possible care.