Dental issues can affect people of all ages, and are typically caused by poor oral healthcare at home and consuming too many sugary foods and drinks.
Minor problems can escalate into serious issues without intervention. That’s why regular dental check-ups are important – every six to 12 months. Regular dental visits also give your dentist the opportunity to give you advice on how to improve your oral hygiene routine.
But, besides getting routine dental examinations, what else can you do to avoid common dental problems?
Cavities occur as a tooth decays when the germs in plaque and tartar produce acid that breaks down the protective layer of enamel and attacks the underlying layer, the dentin. Signs of cavities include toothache, sensitivity to hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks, and pain while chewing.
To help prevent cavities, brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least daily. Use a soft-bristle brush designed for deep cleaning while avoiding damage to the gums. An anti-bacterial mouthwash is also a good idea.
- Gum Disease
Gum disease is also caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar. The problem starts as gingivitis (gum inflammation) but can progress to the more serious condition of periodontitis (gum disease), which can result in tooth loss.
A good routine of brushing and flossing will help to keep bacteria-laden plaque and tartar at bay. Certain foods and drinks are beneficial in maintaining healthy gums. These include dairy products and crunchy foods that scrape away food particles and plaque.
- Tooth Sensitivity
The problem of over-sensitive teeth is a common issue that’s often ignored. Apart from being a symptom of cavities, prolonged tooth sensitivity can be a sign of underlying problems such as receding gums or grinding your teeth at night.
You can try a toothpaste specially designed for sensitive teeth, but if the problem persists, it’s advisable to consult a dentist.
- Dry Mouth
A dry mouth (xerostomia) can be caused by an insufficient supply of saliva. This can be brought about by aging, stress or smoking, or could be a side effect of certain prescription medications. Drink plenty of water, and talk to your doctor or dentist about the problem.
- Bad Breath
Persistent bad breath (halitosis) may be a sign of gum disease, possibly caused by poor oral hygiene. Besides regular brushing and flossing, you may find a tongue scraper useful in getting rid of odour-producing bacteria. Smoking also causes bad breath – try to kick the habit.
Your teeth tend to become discoloured over time. Try to cut down on drinks that cause teeth staining, such as red wine, sports drinks, tea and coffee. You could try using a straw with sports drinks to keep the dyes away from your teeth.
Accidents Can Happen!
Although you may make every effort to avoid common dental problems, accidents do happen that require immediate attention. Kitchener & Waterloo Emergency Dental Services specializes in providing emergency dental care, including treatment for knocked-out teeth, and emergency fillings, root canals and crowns.