6 Common tooth related concerns

Your body is the most amazing working system created by nature. Every aspect of its functioning is like a well lubricated machinery. At times, you could encounter some setbacks in this routine. And your mouth is no exception. Here are some of the most common reasons why you could have trouble with your mouth…….

Gum disease

Bleeding gums is a common concern for many people worldwide. Can you ignore bleeding gums? NO…….

Your gums with the underlying bone is the support structure for your teeth. Together, they are called the “periodontium”. The gums are attached to your teeth by fibres of the periodontium called the periodontal ligament.

When a biofilm called plaque builds on your teeth, the harmful bacteria make home in the plaque. The toxins from these bacteria eat away your gums. That’s when you have bleeding gums!! This condition is called “Gingivitis“. Gingivitis is treatable and the condition is reversible.

The damage to your gums is greater when this biofilm hardens to form tartar. Your dentist or your dental hygienist will do  scaling to remove this tartar. If you don’t treat the condition at this stage, the damage progresses to the underlying bone. The disease causes loosening of teeth and is called “Periodontitis”. Advanced periodontitis is irreversible. You may lose your teeth at this point.

Visit your dentist for regular check ups and treatment. Good oral hygiene at home is essential to keep your gums healthy.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay is a bacterial disease affecting your teeth. This disease of the tooth is seen in all age groups. The tooth decay begins when the enamel of your tooth is dissolved by the acids from the bacteria. This makes the inner softer dentin an easy target for the bacteria. You should get your tooth filled and restored for at this stage. If left untreated, the bacteria enter the inner layer of the tooth, which is called the pulp. You may experience tooth pain when the pulp is invaded by the bacterial toxins. At this point, your tooth has to be treated with a RCT and a crown.

Visit your dentist regularly. He will detect early decay in your mouth and help you save your teeth. Good oral hygiene habits like brushing, flossing and mouth rinsing are important.

Tooth/ jaw pain

You can have tooth pain because of….

  • An untreated decay infecting the pulp
  • Untreated gum disease
  • Tooth abscess
  • Unerupted wisdom teeth
  • Bruxism
  • TMD

Your wisdom tooth comes into the mouth between the ages of 18 and 22 years. The most common problem with your last tooth is pain during its eruption. This tooth may not erupt fully into your mouth due to lack of space in the jaws. The tooth is then said to be locked in the jaws ( “Impacted“) The impacted wisdom tooth is a source of infection and pain. You will have to get the tooth removed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Clenching of teeth or bruxism is grinding of teeth, usually in your sleep. Because of this grinding of teeth at night, you can have pain in the jaws and teeth on waking up in the morning. Your teeth can undergo excessive wear. A night guard fabricated by your dentist is helpful in preventing the damage due to the grinding habit. Severely worn down teeth may be sensitive and may require other treatment procedures.

The TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) Is the articulating joint of your jaw. This joint makes the movement of your lower jaw possible. Your TMJ is surrounded by muscles and ligaments. Any damage to these structures can cause pain in the area. Further, clicking sounds in the joint is a common problem.

Visit your dentist for further evaluation of these problems.

Missing teeth

Most adults in the age of 25 to 60 have at least 3-4 missing or decayed teeth. If you have any missing teeth in your mouth, you have many reasons to correct the problem. Because missing teeth can cause and affect

  • speech
  • Chewing efficiency
  • Bone thickness around the missing teeth
  • drifting of teeth affecting the bite( occlusion )
  • Aesthetics
  • Collapse in the jaw height causing an aged appearance

Your dentist can help you with replacing the missing teeth. Generally, missing teeth are replaced by

  • Removable dentures
  • Bridges or fixed dentures
  • Implants

Tooth sensitivity

If you feel a sharp pain for hot or cold foods, you have a very common dental problem–Sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity can occur because of

  • Cavities
  • Fractured teeth
  • Fractured or worn fillings
  • Gum disease
  • Worn out enamel( abrasion and/or erosion )
  • Exposed root surfaces

Sensitive in your teeth can be treated. Your dentist may recommend a desensitising paste in some cases. Other causes of your tooth sensitivity may need further treatment procedures like filling, application of sealants, scaling or RCT. Talk to your dentist about your concerns and questions. A good oral hygiene is the key for prevention of sensitivity.

Dry mouth

Everyone’s mouth can be dry sometimes, but if you feel like your mouth is always dry, it may be time to seek treatment. You can have dry mouth because of dehydration, medications, salivary gland diseases and certain health conditions. Talk to your dentist who will help you identify the cause of your dry mouth. You may be referred to a physician for further tests. Having a dry mouth in itself may not be serious, but caring for your gums and teeth due to dry mouth is important. Keep your dentist informed about your medications and your health, that may help identify the cause of your dry mouth. Your health care provider will suggest treatment options accordingly.