Just like your body, your mouth is susceptible to many different health issues if proper care is not taken. At the dental practice of Robert Madry, DDS, General and Cosmetic Dentistry, we want to help you avoid common oral problems so that your oral health can remain in optimum condition. However, we understand that some problems may still arise. To help you care for your oral health, we invite you to review the following common oral problems and tips on how to address them. If you have any questions about how to care for common oral problems in Corpus Christi, Texas, we welcome you to contact our office today at 361-991-7622.
Caries, or tooth decay, is a preventable disease. While caries might not endanger your life, they may negatively impact your quality of life. When your teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids may form that begin to eat away at your tooth enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as candy, cookies, soft drinks, and even fruit juices, leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that live in your mouth, and together, they begin to form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth and result in tooth decay.
Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede, or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, thus exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Just breathing in cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth.
Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss, and bone damage. Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. In the early stage of this disease, also called gingivitis, your gums can bleed easily, and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or may need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing. One indicator of gum disease is consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Daily brushing and flossing helps to prevent the build-up of food particles, plaque, and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods, such as garlic or anchovies, may create temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem.
Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. Canker sores have a white or gray base surrounded by a red border. Generally lasting one or two weeks, you can reduce the duration of canker sores by using antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents.
A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types may be acquired over time. Some causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth, or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period of time, may also cause malocclusions.