Help! I Think I Need To See My Dentist!
Many people have common dental health problems and concerns that may lead them to seek out the help of a family dentist. What many people disregard, however, is that some of these common problems can have serious and dangerous consequences if not treated quickly and correctly. In order to learn more about this, let us take a closer look at the top ten problems and the potential health risks associated with them.
1. Gum Disease
Studies have shown that approximately 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease. Gum disease has now been linked to some real serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Inflammation in the gums can create an inflammation response in other parts of the body and increase our risks of these diseases. Signs of gum disease include red, bleeding or swollen gums, and it can cause tooth sensitivity and the movement of teeth. If left untreated, gum disease can also lead to the loss of teeth and abscesses.
2. Tooth Decay
Teeth can decay when plaque combines with the sugars and starches that we eat. This combination produces an acid that will attack the tooth enamel. Tooth decay can lead to serious infections in the body and should be acted upon quickly. By brushing twice a day, flossing daily and having dental check ups on a regular basis, you can fight decay and the health problems it can cause.
3. Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a very serious and deadly disease. It affects millions of people and can pertain to the mouth, lips and throat. When diagnosed and treated in its early stages, it is often very curable. However, oral cancer can often go unnoticed. It can appear as a cold sore or common ulcer and may even look like a discoloration of tissue in the mouth. Any sore or lesion that appears to not be healing within a couple of weeks should be evaluated by a general or family dentist as soon as possible.
4. Tooth Erosion
Erosion of the teeth can cause sensitivity and discoloration of the teeth due to loss of enamel. Erosion can also cause teeth to crack. Several different factors can lead to erosion of the teeth, including eating acidic foods and drinking acidic beverages too often. An experienced family dentist can keep you informed on the best dental products to counteract erosion and make suggestions on how to help prevent it in the future.
5. Tooth Sensitivity
Sensitive teeth is a real problem for many patients. Tooth sensitivity can cause pain and discomfort while eating and drinking hot and cold foods. Sensitive teeth can be treated and the patient should be examined by a dentist to find the underlying causes and outline the best treatments for the sensitivity moving forward.
6. Bad Breath
Bad breath affects many patients and can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing. Bad breath is not always a result of the food that is eaten or lack of good oral care. Studies show that 85% of people with persistent halitosis have a dental condition that is to blame for the bad breath. Other causes of bad breath include gum disease, cavities and oral cancer. In order to rule out the more serious causes of bad breath, a patient should always seek out his or her family dentist to rule out any of these issues.
Most children and adults have suffered from a toothache at some point in their lives. As a result, everyone knows how much pain and discomfort toothaches can cause. By visiting a dentist regularly for preventative care, one can rest assured that the problem will be detected and treated before it gets painful and a serious medical condition.
8. Mouth Sores
Mouth sores can be painful and will usually disappear on their own, but one should remember that if a sore or lesion lasts more than 2 weeks, going to see a professional is highly recommended. While some causes of sores may be harmless, like accidentally biting oneself, others may be more serious and in need of treatment.
9. Unattractive Smile
Even though an unattractive smile caused by bad or missing teeth may not always be considered a true medical problem, it is one of the major factors behind why patients seek dental treatment. No one can deny that a pretty white smile looks healthier and increases self confidence. A family or cosmetic dentist can offer many tools to create a beautiful smile, such as teeth whitening, dental implants, or other cosmetic or orthodontic work.
10. Jaw Pain
Jaw pain can be excruciating and can be caused by many different issues. Often wisdom teeth and abscessed teeth can be a great source of pain. Another issue could arise out of grinding teeth, which can cause TMJ, a very painful problem. Since jaw pain can also be indicative of a heart attack or cancer, it is imperative that patients with any symptoms seek out a professional family dentist to determine the cause of the issue.