Common Dental Problems

TOOTH DECAY/CAVITIES

The one thing we all hate to hear at the local dentist office is that we have tooth decay, more commonly known as cavities. Cavities are not a life threatening dental problem, but they may negatively impact your quality of life. Stop this common mouth problem from getting worse before it’s too late. If extreme tooth decay occurs, then other more invasive dental treatments will have to be used, such as a tooth implant procedure.

Acids that eat away at tooth enamel may form when teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of sugars and starches. Foods rich in carbohydrates, such as cookies, candy, soft drinks, and fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth. These deposits bond with the bacteria in your mouth and form plaque. The combination of these deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth. The length of time it takes to get a cavity depends, however if gone untreated for too long you may need to get cavity fillings.

If you have any tooth decay concerns, be sure to talk to your local dentist before more tooth damage occurs.

SENSITIVE TEETH

Your teeth react to changes in temperature by expanding and contracting. Hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain or irritation if you have sensitive teeth. Over time dental problems can occur; tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Just breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth. If you have sensitive teeth talk to Dr. Khan or her dental team at your local dentist office in Tacoma. Her staff will be able to determine why your teeth are sensitive. As an additional benefit of your visit, you will be able to determine whether there is a more serious oral health problem that needs to be addressed.

GUM DISEASE

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss, and bone damage. In the early stages of the disease, known as gingivitis, gums can bleed easily and become red and swollen due to plaque build up. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist, perhaps resulting in a tooth implant procedure. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing. One indicator of gum disease is consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.

BAD BREATH (HALITOSIS)

The best way to prevent bad breath is to brush and floss regularly. Brushing and flossing helps to prevent a build-up of food particles, plaque, and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods, such as garlic and onions, may cause temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or a other dental problem. Talk to your local dentist office if you feel that your breath has become a consistent problem.

CANKER SORES

Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. This oral health issue usually last about one or two weeks. Using antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents can reduce the duration of canker sores. Canker sores have a white or gray base surrounded by a red border.

ORTHODONTIC PROBLEMS

A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited and some types may be acquired.  Some causes of malocclusion include missing teeth or extra teeth, crowded teeth, or misaligned jaws.  Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period of time, may cause malocclusions.