In today’s chaotic and demanding lives, most people don’t pay much attention to their dental health until it’s too late. Yet, keeping our teeth healthy can help us in many ways. It helps us chew and digest food properly, speak clearly, and enhance our smile and facial features.
According to a study by Global Burden of Disease 2019, almost 3.5 billion suffer from oral diseases. And while you may be taking good care of your oral health, yet may still experience dental health issues. Unfortunately, as a result, you might find yourself sitting in a chair in the dentist’s room with your mouth wide open. No need to worry; it’s pretty usual.
Sure, dental issues can become problematic. However, the good news is they are preventable and treatable. Staying aware of the most common dental health issues and ways to spot and prevent them can go a long way in prevention. That said, let’s look at the most common dental health problems, their symptoms, and the potential treatments available:
1. TMJ disorder
TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint disorders refer to a family of problems related to the jaw joints. The condition usually occurs due to you grinding your teeth excessively, injury in your jaw, or arthritis in any body part. Common symptoms include difficulty opening and closing your mouth, tenderness or pain in the jaw, neck, or shoulder, clicking/grating/popping noise, etc.
Several treatment options are available for TMJ disorder, including medications, injections, self-care, and surgery. However, it is relevant to note that doctors recommend surgery in extreme cases only, such as when the jaw isn’t opening, is dislocated, or is severely damaged.
Are you a resident of San Francisco and experiencing the extreme condition of TMJ disorder? You might wonder what the temporomandibular joint surgery cost in San Francisco is and on what conditions surgeons recommend surgery so you can get the proper treatment. In such a case, a better idea is to schedule a consultation with a professional oral surgeon, discuss your concerns, and learn the best approach to treat your condition.
2. Tooth decay
Almost everyone has experienced tooth decay at some point, whether as a child, a teenager, or an adult. Tooth decay commonly referred to as cavities is a dental condition in which the affected area of a tooth gets permanently damaged or has a hole.
The likelihood of dental plaque accumulation on the tooth rises when you consume a lot of starchy food or foods high in carbohydrates. Thus, acids produced due to plaque slowly deteriorate the enamel – the thin layer that covers the crown of your tooth. Common symptoms of tooth decay include teeth sensitivity, visible holes, foul breath, and gray, black, or brown spots on your teeth.
Practicing good oral hygiene, such as brushing twice daily and flossing, can help prevent your teeth from cavities and strengthen them.
3. Gum disease
Another common dental health issue is gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease. And while everyone is at risk, adults are more at risk than children. According to a report by CDC, periodontal disease affects 47.2% of persons aged 30 and older.
In its early stage, the person suffers from gum inflammation due to plaque building up in the gums and teeth. It may result in gums getting red and swollen and even bleeding. Fortunately, the good news is that this condition, Gingivitis, is reversible. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups can help you prevent this condition.
The bone and tissue that hold your teeth in place get damaged in this dental condition. However, if left untreated, it can become a severe condition: periodontitis. Depending on the severity, your dentist may treat the disease by prescribing you antibiotics or recommending you to a dental hygienist who will perform scaling or root canal.
4. Bad breath
You might have observed shelves full of mouthwashes, mints, and other products to help customers fight foul breath when visiting a store. Of course, bad breath is embarrassing and might even cause anxiety in some people, shattering their confidence.
Do you know bad-smelling breath is a dental health problem – halitosis? Causes of this condition include dry mouth, poor dental hygiene, consumption of tobacco products, food particles residue, acid reflux, etc.
And while mouthwash can be a temporary solution to treat this condition, a better idea is to maintain good oral hygiene and schedule an appointment with your dentist.
5. Oral cancer
One of the deadliest dental health problems is oral cancer. According to statistics, roughly one person dies every hour due to oral cancer in the United States. Moreover, there will be approximately 54,000 cases of oral and oropharyngeal in the U.S in 2021.
Although the news of cancer is scary, the good part is it is curable if diagnosed and treated in its early stages. People who have excessive consumption of tobacco and alcohol or have a history of cancer in the past are more at risk of developing this condition. Therefore, you must look for the common symptoms: small white/pinkish patches on the mouth or tongue, difficulty chewing and swallowing, sores, or any rough areas in the mouth.
It is no secret that dental health significantly impacts your overall health and well-being. For example, poor dental health can lead to heart problems, diabetes, cancer, respiratory issues, dementia, etc.
Moreover, poor oral hygiene negatively affects your confidence and self-esteem. Thus, taking the necessary precautions and maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial. You can do so by brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing, consuming healthy food, and regularly visiting the dentist.