10 Common Dental Problems and How to Prevent or Treat Them

10 Common Dental Problems and How to Prevent or Treat Them


At times, your teeth can be troublesome. Like other organs, teeth have live tissues and nerves. Therefore, you are likely to experience pain or some discomfort if any part of your tooth has an issue. Teeth are also in an environment that is a breeding ground for good and bad bacteria, as well as other types of microorganisms.

Additionally, on a day-to-day basis, teeth are subjected to strains due to processes such as chewing, biting, grinding, talking, and aging. These conditions make it possible for teeth to develop several problems because of an illness, strain, or lack of proper care. This article discusses ten common dental issues that you can encounter and ways to avert or treat them.

Bad Breath

Bad breath, also referred to as halitosis, can be embarrassing. Studies have shown that 85 percent of individuals who have a persistent bad breath have a dental problem that causes the odor. Such issues include cavities, gum disease, oral cancer, bacteria in the mouth, and a dry mouth.

Some foods also cause mouth odor. For example, if you eat a lot of garlic, the strong smell will stick on the teeth and various surfaces in the mouth and cause a bad smell.

To prevent or treat bad breath, you should visit a dentist to diagnose the exact cause of the problem. Treatments such as the use of mouthwash may only mask the bad smell without addressing the underlying problem, such as gum disease or a cavity. A visit to the dentist is particularly necessary if you have a persistent bad breath. Checking your diet to avoid foods with strong smells may also help if there are no other underlying causes of the odor.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also referred to as cavities, is the second most common illness after a common cold in the United States. Tooth decay occurs when plaque accumulates on your teeth and combines with starch and sugars from the food that you eat, gradually damaging the teeth’s enamel or hard outer shell. The destruction of the tooth enamel can lead to the formation of tiny holes on the surface of the tooth, which leads to pain as the cavity grows larger.

To prevent tooth decay or cavities, you should brush twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, reduce snack intake, floss daily, and visit your dentist regularly for checkups.

Gum Disease

Gum disease or periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that results from the accumulation of plaque on the teeth. The bacteria damage the gum tissue and the fibrous ligaments that hold the teeth in place. Symptoms of gum disease include swollen, red, bleeding or tender gums, pain when chewing, and sensitive teeth.

To prevent gums disease, you should brush twice daily and floss regularly. It would be best if you also visited a dentist for checkups and treatment to avert further complications like loss of teeth.

Tooth Infection (Root Infection)

Tooth infection, also called root infection, is excruciating and causes a lot of discomforts. The condition occurs when bacteria infect the bottom part of a tooth – the root – and damages the pulp tissue and nerves inside the tooth. At the early stages of a root infection, you will experience mild pain, but eventually, an abscess will develop and cause other more severe symptoms and pain.

It is essential to visit a dentist as soon as you experience symptoms such as a toothache since this could be a symptom of tooth infection

Enamel Degradation

Enamel degradation is a common problem and gets characterized by discolored teeth or teeth that have round edges. The problem can be due to exposure to sugary foods and corrosive substances such as fizzy drinks. The acid that is associated with various food items and beverages erodes the enamel and causes teeth to have a stained and unhealthy appearance. Overzealous brushing of teeth can also cause the tooth enamel to wear down.

Prevention is the best way to address enamel degradation. It means avoiding fizzy drinks and sugary foods. You should also talk to your dentist about the type of toothbrush that you should use. You may also need to visit a dentist for tooth bonding support in case your teeth are severely damaged.

Tooth Sensitivity

If you experience discomfort or pain when taking something sweet, cold, or hot, you could be having tooth sensitivity. Some people with tooth sensitivity also experience pain or discomfort when brushing or flossing.

Tooth sensitivity can be a sign of a tooth abscess or a cracked tooth. If you experience tooth sensitivity, you should make an appointment with a dentist to have the problem diagnosed and treated.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a dangerous illness that affects millions of people. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, in the United States, one person dies each hour due to oral cancer. The good news is that oral cancer is often curable if detected and treated at the initial stages.

The risk factors of oral cancer include alcohol and tobacco use. Therefore, avoiding the substances mentioned above can help reduce the risk of oral cancer. Regular dental checkups can also help detect the disease early.


Some toothaches can get avoided if you make regular visits to the dentist. However, you will need to make an urgent visit to a dentist if you have a toothache that is caused by issues such as an abscessed, cracked, or broken tooth.

Dry Mouth

A dry mouth or xerostomia occurs when the mouth lacks saliva. Lack of saliva robs the mouth of lubrication, vital moisture, and cleansing. A dry mouth also means that the mouth does not have the mild antibacterial properties that are associated with saliva.

While there is no direct cure for dry mouth, a dentist can help you with tips to lessen the problem.

Tooth Loss

Some of the issues discussed above can lead to tooth loss, with gum disease and tooth infection being some of the major culprits. Aging and accidents can also lead to tooth loss.

Solutions for tooth loss include the use of dental implants, dentures, and bridges.


While it is possible to prevent some dental problems, there are still some illnesses or conditions that need to get treated. To prevent or treat any form of dental problem, you should make regular visits to a dentist.

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