Good oral hygiene is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Regular brushing and flossing are the pillars of good oral hygiene, but dental problems can still occur.
Identifying the most common dental problems 一 and how to prevent them 一 can go a long way toward keeping your mouth as healthy as possible.
Here, Dr. Hinna Chaudhry and our team at Ardsley Dental Spa in Ardsley, New York, shed light on common dental issues, how to prevent them, and how we can help.
Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is caused by bacteria buildup in the mouth. These bacteria combine with food particles to create acid that can eat away your tooth enamel.
To prevent tooth decay, brush your teeth twice a day for at least two full minutes, floss regularly, limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks, and visit us for regular cleanings and checkups.
Only use toothpaste with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. Toothpaste that contains fluoride can reduce your risk of tooth decay.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection affecting your gum tissue, jawbone, and teeth. Left untreated, gum disease can cause redness, swelling, bleeding, and even tooth loss.
To prevent gum disease, practice good oral hygiene, quit smoking, eat a healthy diet, and address the signs as soon as you spot them. Treating the early stage of gum disease (gingivitis) can help prevent full-flown periodontitis.
Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a variety of factors, including tooth decay, receding gums, cracked or chipped teeth, and teeth grinding. It’s also a temporary side effect of teeth whitening.
To prevent tooth sensitivity, brush and floss gently (to prevent cavity-related sensitivity), use a soft-bristled toothbrush (to prevent aggressive brushing), and avoid chewing on hard or non-food items that can crack teeth.
Poor oral hygiene, oral infections, gum disease, dry mouth, and certain foods and drinks are all potential causes of halitosis (bad breath). Bad breath can take a toll on your self-esteem, especially if it persists despite brushing.
To prevent bad breath, brush and floss regularly, use mouthwash, drink plenty of water (dry mouth can make halitosis worse), and avoid smoking.
Infections can also cause bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth. If you suspect you have an infection, don’t ignore bad breath. Treating the infection can help.
Oral cancer is a serious condition that can result from tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, and certain types of HPV.
To prevent oral cancer, avoid tobacco, limit alcohol use, practice good oral hygiene, and schedule routine dental exams. During your exam, Dr. Chaudhry performs an oral cancer screening.
Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding can cause tooth damage, jaw pain, and headaches.
To prevent teeth grinding, reduce stress, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and wear a custom-fitting mouthguard at night. If muscle tension contributes to your bruxism, Dr. Chaudhry may also recommend Botox® injections.
Crowding, gaps, or bad bites
Orthodontic issues include crowding, gaps, and malocclusion. These problems can contribute to interproximal cavities (cavities between teeth), jaw pain, and difficulty chewing.
While you can’t always prevent orthodontic issues, you can address them effectively. For example, you can reduce your risk of interproximal cavities by straightening your teeth with Invisalign® clear aligners, which make flossing between teeth easier.
Tooth loss can be caused by factors that include gum disease, tooth decay, and injury.
To prevent tooth loss, practice good oral hygiene, eat a healthy diet, and wear a mouthguard while playing sports or engaging in other high-risk activities, such as skateboarding or skiing.
Invest in your oral health today
Preventing dental problems takes good oral hygiene, a healthy lifestyle, prevention strategies, and regular dental checkups. By caring for your teeth and gums and addressing dental issues early on, you can maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come.
If you’re overdue for a dental exam or have concerns about your oral health, call us at Ardsley Dental Spa or book your appointment online today.