Your oral health is essential, and while you may brush your teeth regularly and visit the dentist for cleanings and check-ups, some simple dental issues can still arise. From time to time, you may notice that your teeth, gums, and jaw feel slightly different and are showing signs of deterioration. It’s best to fix these before they worsen and become more significant problems.
Read on for some simple dental issues to nip in the bud.
1. A chipped tooth
You may not think a chipped tooth is a big deal, but it can lead to further damage and even infection if left untreated. If the chip is large or jagged, it could cut your tongue or the inside of your cheek, leading to pain and swelling. If the chip goes unnoticed, bacteria can enter the chip and cause an infection.
This could lead to an abscess, a painful pus-filled pocket that forms around the tooth’s root. Abscesses require immediate treatment from a dentist or could lead to more severe health problems. So, if you have a chipped tooth, immediately make an appointment with your dentist to fix it.
2. Misaligned teeth
Misaligned teeth are often due to genetics, but they can also result from bad habits like thumb sucking or pacifier use. While cosmetic concerns are the primary reason people seek treatment for misaligned teeth, crooked teeth can also lead to more significant dental problems.
Crooked teeth are more difficult to clean, making them more likely to develop cavities and other forms of tooth decay. In addition, misaligned teeth can put undue stress on the jaws, leading to TMJ disorder and other problems.
If you have misaligned teeth, your dentist may recommend Invisalign clear retainers. Invisalign is popular for adults and teenagers who want to straighten their teeth without metal braces. The clear retainers are virtually invisible, so no one will know you’re wearing them. But you may also need to wear them for a year or more, depending on the severity of your misalignment.
3. Tooth decay
Another issue that may seem harmless but can cause significant problems is tooth decay. Cavities form when plaque and tartar build up on teeth and eat away at the enamel, causing small holes. If left untreated, cavities will only get bigger and eventually lead to tooth loss. You may not experience any pain at first, but as cavities worsen, you may experience sensitivity to hot and cold drinks or sharp pains when eating sugary foods.
You may need to get a filling or have the tooth extracted if the decay is severe. This is why it’s essential to visit the dentist regularly and take good care of your teeth at home. Brush and floss regularly and go to your dentist for cleanings and check-ups so they can catch cavities early on.
4. Gum disease
Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup on teeth that leads to inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, gum disease can destroy the tissue that supports your teeth and even lead to tooth loss. Additionally, gum disease has been linked to other severe health conditions like stroke, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems, and more!
Bleeding gums, receding gums, and bad breath are telltale signs of gum disease. If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist immediately. They will clean your teeth and gums and give tips on improving your oral hygiene routine. Ask about mouthwashes and toothpaste to help reduce plaque buildup and prevent gum disease.
5. Jaw pain
Although jaw pain is often associated with TMJ disorder, it can also be caused by dental problems. If you have misaligned teeth or gum disease, you may experience pain in your jaw when you chew or speak. Tooth decay can also cause the nerves in your teeth to become irritated, leading to pain in the jaw.
Jaw pain can also be caused by teeth grinding (bruxism). This condition often occurs at night and can cause the teeth to wear down over time. If you think you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist about getting a night guard. This is a small appliance that you wear at night to protect your teeth from grinding.
Simple dental issues may seem harmless at first glance, but they can lead to big problems down the road if left untreated. Be sure to visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups so they can catch any issues early on; catching problems early is key to preventing them from worsening and becoming more expensive (and painful!) down the line. And, of course, be sure to brush twice a day and floss daily!