In addition to being an inconvenience, having dental problems can be painful and stressful. More visits to the dentist’s office leaves less time (and money!) for the things you enjoy. The good news is that some of the most common oral diseases can be easily prevented, helping you avoid uncomfortable and expensive dental procedures. And if you aren’t able to prevent common oral diseases like cavities and dental infections, your general dentist has plenty of treatment options available.
Read on to learn about the most common dental diseases and how to avoid them!
Tooth Decay and Dental Cavities
When plaque builds up on your teeth, bacteria in the plaque combines with sugar to produce enamel-destroying acid. This acid creates tooth decay and can lead to dental cavities, which is one of the most common dental diseases in the world.
The best way to prevent tooth decay and dental cavities is by practicing good oral hygiene. If you or your dentist catches tooth decay early enough, sometimes a fluoride treatment is all it takes to treat the problem. Dental fillings are the most common form of treatment, but sometimes advanced tooth decay requires a dental crown, tooth removal, and even root canal therapy.
Affecting nearly half of all adults over age 30, gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue and is the most common reason for tooth loss. Lifestyle factors like smoking, diabetes, pregnancy, and menopause can increase your chance of experiencing gum disease.
Flossing is the best way to avoid gum disease –– and like dental cavities, damage can be reversed if caught early. Advanced disease may require root planing and scaling or even surgery.
Chronic Bad Breath
Halitosis, which is the formal word for bad breath, can be embarrassing and isolating. Around 85% of people with chronic bad breath have an underlying dental condition including gum disease, dental cavities, oral cancer, and dry mouth.
Treating the underlying condition is the best way to get relief from bad breath. Schedule a visit to your general dentist to determine the cause and best course of treatment for chronic bad breath.
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the tooth enamel starts to weaken. As this happens, the roots of the teeth are exposed, causing pain and sensitivity.
If you have sensitive teeth, you might benefit from special toothpaste and toothbrushes specifically designed to strengthen your tooth enamel.
Your general dentist will always take time at your checkups and cleanings to examine you for oral cancer. This cancer, which most commonly affects the tongue, tonsils, gums, and oropharynx (section of the throat at the back of your mouth), is best treated when caught early.
Because various oral cancers often don’t produce clear signs and symptoms in their early stages, regular dental checkups are the most important method of detecting them.
Be sure to reach out to your dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- A mouth or lip sore that won’t heal
- A lump in your mouth
- A red or white patch in your mouth
- Loose teeth
- Painful swallowing, persistent mouth pain, or ear pain
Smoking and the use of tobacco products has a significant impact on oral cancer risk. Depending on the type of oral cancer and the cancer’s stage when diagnosed, treatment can involve a mix of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to avoid any type of dental problem and keep your teeth healthy and beautiful. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, eat a balanced diet, and visit your regular dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and a checkup.
Several of the oral diseases mentioned above require root canal therapy. Our team of doctors at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado make it our mission to keep our patients comfortable while restoring their smiles and relieving their pain. Contact us today to learn how we can give you a healthy, beautiful smile!