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As long as you can remember, you've heard the words "cavities" and "gum disease" many times. Chances are you've had at least one cavity and one bout of gingivitis (low-level gum disease) so far in your lifetime. These tend to be the most common dental issues that patients are familiar with. As there is a lot that goes on in the mouth, as well as a wide range of foods and drinks that enter it throughout the day, many other dental issues can also occur. Some of these you may or may not have experienced:
Causes of Dental Issues
There are multiple causes for dental issues. Many causes are things a patient can do something about. These are some of the most common issues patients experience:
Poor dental health and hygiene: Poor dental health as the result of improper oral hygiene is the most common cause for a majority of dental issues. The lack of flossing and inconsistency of teeth brushing can leave decaying food in the mouth, which causes tooth decay and gum disease and can lead to additional oral health problems, such as bad breath, lost teeth and weakened jaw bones.
Trauma: Trauma to the teeth or gums as a result of an injury can damage and weaken protective tissue that can make one's mouth more susceptible to tooth decay, broken or chipped teeth, jaw injury and lost teeth. Most common accidents to the mouth involve the breaking, cracking, chipping or losing of teeth. Should any of these happen, patients are to go to the nearest dentist or ER ASAP, as prompt treatment is needed to save the teeth.
Underlying overall health conditions: Autoimmune diseases, such as HIV and health conditions like diabetes, can put one at an increased risk of dental health issues by making one's teeth and gums more vulnerable to infection and disease. These conditions also lower the mouth's ability to fight off disease and infection.
Underlying oral conditions: Tooth sensitivity, bleeding gums, bad breath and canker sores can all be the results of tooth decay, gum disease or another oral infection. A sore jaw, dry mouth and chronic bad breath can be the result of TMJ, bruxism (unconscious teeth grinding and jaw clenching) or another dysfunction in the functioning of the mouth.
There are many different causes for dental issues. Some of the causes can be more easily reduced or managed with oral hygiene habits of the patient. Others are more outside of the patient's control and will require the help of a trained dental professional.
Regular, routine dental checkups and cleanings at the dental office play an important part in the prevention, diagnosis and prompt treatment of common oral health conditions. Whether or not you feel any discomfort or notice anything abnormal in your mouth, it is highly recommended that one schedules an appointment with their dentist every six months for a routine tooth cleaning and oral exam.