Common tooth problems
- Toothache: Your head is pounding, your gums are throbbing, and your mouth is sore: you have a toothache. You need to see your dentist ASAP and use home remedies to get short-term relief.
- Stained teeth: Foods, medications, tobacco, and trauma can discolor your teeth. Your dentist can whiten them by using a whitening agent and a special light. You can also bleach them at home using a plastic tray and gel from the store. The simplest way to keep your teeth white is using a whitening toothpaste and rinse, only remove surface stains.
- Cavities: Cavities appear when a sticky bacterium, called plaque, builds up on your teeth. If this plaque is not regularly removed, it will slowly destroy the enamel. Adults have problems with tooth decay at the gum line, as well as around the edges of older fillings. In order to prevent cavities, you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. It is also smart to limit the number of snacks you eat, floss daily, use a fluoride mouthwash, and have regular dental appointments.
- Chipped Tooth: This is the number 1 dental injury that can be caused by an accident or something much less dramatic, like crunching on some popcorn. Dentists usually recommend a crown for large chips or bonding with a strong resin material, which can replace the area that was chipped. Usually, if the pulp is at risk, you may need a root canal and veneer or crown.
- Impacted teeth: As adult teeth come in, sometimes there is one that doesn’t come in properly and it becomes “impacted.” When a tooth is impacted, it usually means that a tooth is pushing against another tooth, bone, or soft tissue. Oftentimes, there are no obvious symptoms and impacted teeth are only discovered during a routine X-ray at your dentist’s office. If it isn’t bothering you, it may be recommended leaving it alone. If it hurts or causes problems, an oral surgeon can always remove it.
- Cracked tooth: Whether your crack your tooth from an injury or everyday wear and tear, you may experience a variety of symptoms that range from inconsistent pain when you’re eating food to sudden pain when exposed to very hot or cold temperature changes. Usually, the pain comes and goes, and it can be hard for your dentist to locate the tooth that is causing the discomfort. Most dentists will recommend that you get crowns for cracked teeth since they can help prevent the crack from getting worse. Until you can see your dentist, try chewing on the opposite side on the other side until you see your dentist. If there is a crack above the gum line, a root canal and a crown may be needed. A deeper crack means the tooth must be pulled, though. Fillings tend to increase the chance of a crack developing.
- Sensitivity to cold: Ice cream should not make you wince as the cold treat hits your teeth; it should make you happy. But, every once in a while, eating anything cold is not a pleasant experience and you should visit your dentist to find the cause. The sensitivity could be caused by cavities, worn tooth enamel or fillings, gum disease, cracked teeth, or exposed roots. Your dentist will be able to figure out the problem and suggest a solution. You might need a filling, a root canal, or treatment of your gums, or you might just need to start using sensitive toothpaste or a fluoride gel. You should not ignore tooth sensitivity, which may sometimes feel like it could be a tooth abscess or an unknown cavity. Quick treatment is important to keep these problems from getting worse.
- Hyperdontia, or Too Many Teeth: Do you know how many teeth are in your mouth? The average person had 20 baby teeth and will grow to have 32 adult teeth. Though it is rare, some teeth end up growing extra teeth, which is a condition called “hyperdontia.” Hyperdontia is the condition of having “supernumerary teeth, or teeth that grow in addition to the standard number of teeth. They can appear anywhere on either dental arch or can affect any part of the enamel organ. General treatment for this condition includes getting the extra teeth extracted and using orthodontics (braces) to fix the bite.
- Crooked teeth: Speaking of braces, straightening crooked teeth and aligning your bite doesn’t just help you get a prettier smile. And orthodontia is not just for kids. Braces can be a key part of improving your overall dental health, including relieving symptoms like jaw pain. Orthodontists commonly use braces (either metal or trays), but they also use aligners and retainers. There are many reasons some people’s teeth grow in crooked or overlapped. Some people have small mouths, which makes it easy for their teeth to crowd and cause shifting. In some cases, a person’s upper and lower jaws turn out to be different sizes or are malformed, which results in either an overbite or an underbite. In many cases, crooked teeth, overbites, and underbites are hereditary traits, just like eye color, height, and even the size of your hands.
- Tooth gaps: A lot of times, people don’t consider a gap between their front teeth to be a problem, especially since there are so many famous people who rock them. But your can easily correct it if you desire by using braces, as well as cosmetic solutions like veneers.
- Gum problems: If your gums bleed easily, are tender, and you notice them pulling away from your teeth, you might have gingivitis or gum disease. Gingivitis is caused by plaque buildup below the gum line. In mild cases of gingivitis, people don’t usually know they have it since the symptoms are so mild. However, this condition should be taken seriously and taken care of immediately. If left untreated, it can cause your teeth or shift, become loose, or, in some severe cases, cause bone loss. Gingivitis can often be fixed with good oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth longer and more frequent, and make sure to floss and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash.
- Teeth clenching or grinding: Grinding your teeth is a condition called “bruxism.” Stress is one of the main causes, though misaligned teeth or sleep issues can be causes in adults. Bruxism can give you headaches, a sore jaw, and a variety of tooth issues. If you have this issue at night, your dentist can fit you for a mouth guard. Though, if you have this issue during the day, you might need to consider different ways to bring down your stress, like meditation and exercise.
- Wisdom teeth: If your dentist has told you that your wisdom teeth, aka third molars, came in without a problem, consider yourself lucky. Around 90% of people have at least one wisdom tooth that’s impacted, or that has been unable to fully grow in. your wisdom teeth can cause problems like cavities, damage to nearby teeth, and gum disease. Wisdom teeth typically start showing up between the ages of 17 and 25. Dentists will usually keep an eye on their progress and if they become problematic, they may need to be removed.
- Hard to floss: No matter how tight the fit, you should always have room for floss to fit between your teeth. If you are having issues, you may need to switch to a thinner floss or a waxed one. You also have the option to try a different kind of tool, like a looped flosser or a dental pick. Basically, your dentist will advise you to experiment until you find a product that works for you, and then use it every day. Flossing is a definite must to maintain good dental health.
Keeping your teeth clean is an everyday commitment, and this includes regularly getting a deeper cleaning from your dentist. In fact, when you get your teeth cleaned at least once a year, it will not only improve that great smile of yours, it also improves your health. At Foothill Dental Care in Livermore, our goal is to help our patients maintain your beautiful smile while helping you keep up good oral health. We do everything within our means to provide excellent service during your visit and provide you with the tools you need. If you are interested in getting a dental cleaning, give us a call at Livermore office at (925) 961-5484 to schedule an appointment today.