The truth is, most people will experience at least one dental problem in their lifetime. While all dental problems can range in seriousness, severity, and frequency, there are a few dental conditions that are more common than others. So if your dentist in Douglasville tells you that you need to have some dental work done, rest assured knowing that we have the experience you want and deserve to treat any problem.
Let’s start with the most commonly treated dental condition – cavities. Cavities occur when teeth become weakened as a result of bacteria, or plaque. When there’s too much plaque on teeth, the bacteria naturally found in the mouth will feed on sugars from what we eat and drink and release an acidic byproduct. This acid will weaken tooth enamel, leaving the softer inner parts of the tooth vulnerable to acid attacks. The result is often a cavity, or essentially a hole in a tooth. Signs of cavities include:
- Tooth pain
- Bad breath
- Sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweets
- Brown or black spotting on teeth
- Unpleasant taste
We always recommend seeing your dentist in Douglasville if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.
- Bad Breath
Another incredibly common concern of dental patients is chronic bad breath. Not only can bad breath be embarrassing, but it may also indicate a bigger problem. Most cases of bad breath are a result of poor dental hygiene. This is one reason why your dentist will always recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. However, this isn’t the only thing that can cause bad breath. Some other considerations are:
- Dry mouth
- Certain Medications
- An Infection
- Acid reflux
Your dentist in Douglasville will help assess what’s causing bad breath in the first place and recommend the best way to make it go away.
- Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is one of those things that may not cause problems all of the time, but when it does, the zings of sensitivity pain are certainly noticeable. This uncomfortable condition often results when the nerves inside teeth become exposed, allowing any irritant from hot soup to cold drinks to directly hit those nerves. Sensitive teeth are incredibly common and can be caused by:
- Gum Recession
- Enamel Erosion
- Chipped or broken tooth
- Older crowns or fillings
To help, your dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment or a specific type of toothpaste designed to help sensitive teeth. Other solutions may include a new dental crown or a root canal, depending on your individual needs.
- Gum Disease
Gum disease is also incredibly common with nearly 50% of Americans over the age of 30 having some form of it, according to the CDC. But this isn’t just an oral health problem. In fact, numerous studies have linked gum disease to things such as respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease, and problems controlling blood sugar in diabetes. The earliest stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, can be treated and reversed. However, if it progresses into periodontitis, it can’t be cured and could lead to tooth loss. If you notice any of these symptoms of gum disease, see your dentist as soon as possible.
- Bleeding gums
- Red, swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Pain when you chew
Maintaining regular checkups with your dentist is key to preventing oral health problems. But don’t forget that it’s also important to take great care of your teeth at home. This means properly brushing and flossing daily, avoiding tobacco products, and eating plenty of tooth-friendly foods such as fresh vegetables.
Cancer can develop in any part of the body, including in the mouth. Oral cancer, also commonly referred to as mouth cancer, is incredibly common and can affect the mouth, tongue, tonsils, and throat. In fact, more than 50,000 people will be diagnosed with some type of oral cancer every year. The good news is that oral cancer doesn’t have to be deadly. If oral cancer is diagnosed by your dentist in Douglasville early enough, treatment can often be successful
Oral Cancer Signs & Symptoms
The hard part about diagnosing oral cancer often comes from the fact that some of the early signs of oral cancer can easily be confused with other oral health conditions. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so if any of the signs and symptoms below don’t go away within 2-3 weeks, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your dentist in Douglasville as soon as you can.
- Chronic cough
- Changes in voice
- Difficulty swallowing
- An earache on one side
- A hard lump in the soft tissues
- Swollen tonsil on one side without pain
- A painless lump on the outside of the neck
- Any sore that doesn’t heal itself within 2-weeks
- Discoloration in the mouth including a red, white, or black appearance
Check Your Mouth
While regular checkups with your dentist are certainly important, there are things you can do at home to proactively check for early signs of oral cancer or other symptoms of tooth trouble. Keep an eye out for any new tooth sensitivity, bleeding, or sores in the mouth. Additionally, check in with the Check Your Mouth initiative to help you identify potential abnormalities in the mouth.
Oral Cancer Risk Factors
Even though oral cancer can happen to anyone at any time, there are some things you can do to lower your risk of developing this serious and sometimes deadly disease. Keep in mind that some factors are genetic, but others can be controlled.
- Reduce Alcohol intake – Nearly 70% of people diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers
- Avoid Tobacco – 80% of those who get oral cancer either currently use tobacco or did at one time
- People 50 or older — Oral cancer tends to be most prominent in people over the age of 50
- Men — Men are more likely to develop oral cancer than women, but that doesn’t mean women are excluded from oral cancer
Oral cancer is a tricky thing, and the best way to protect yourself against it is to see your dentist in Douglasville twice a year. Like many oral health problems, oral cancer is best and most successfully treated when it’s caught early.