You may not enjoy being at the dentist the way we do, especially if you are experiencing one of the top 5 dental problems adults experience. Thankfully, those problems are easier to solve than you may think!
Below we outline those most common issues adults find themselves with and some simple solutions.
Problem number 1: Bad Breath
Also called halitosis, bad breath can be annoying and embarrassing. Sometimes the culprit can be something simple, such as having raw onions at lunch or something high in garlic right before bed. Unfortunately, for 85% of those suffering from bad breath daily there is actually a dental concern to blame, the biggest ones being gum disease, cavities, dry mouth, bacteria on the tongue and oral cancer. Using mouth rinse in these situations will never cure the bad breath, but just mask it.
What would Affiliated Dentists recommend for bad breath?
If you find yourself having bad breath daily, your best option is to call your dentist and have them do an exam to see just what is going on.
Problem number 2: Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is – we aren’t kidding! – the second most widespread disease in the United States (the common cold is the first). We’ve all forgotten to brush after a meal or before bed once or twice (hopefully not too often!). Unfortunately, without proper home care, plaque starts to build up on our teeth and, combined with the daily sugars and starches we eat during meals and snacks, produces acids that start to attack our teeth. This isn’t something we can feel until it’s too late and we develop decay so much in one spot that it turns into a cavity.
What would Affiliated Dentists recommend for tooth decay?
Make sure you not only keep your regular six month cleanings and check ups at our office, but also maintain good oral health care at home by brushing and flossing daily. This should be sufficient in keeping nasty decay at bay. However, sometimes it isn’t enough, and cavities form anyway. The only solution to fix a cavity once it forms is by removing the decay at our office and replacing the removed area with a strong material (a filling). Remember, you WON’T necessarily feel pain when you have a cavity forming. The pain associated with one tends to only start once the decay starts getting closer to the root and, unfortunately, might not be fixable with just a small filling anymore and could turn into an expensive crown or even a root canal!
Problem number 3: Gum (periodontal) Disease
The two stages of gum disease – gingivitis and periodontitis – affect over 80% of adults in the United States alone. Like our last post pointed out, gum disease can be transferred from person to person. However, something a lot of people don’t know is that gum disease is not only THE leading cause of tooth loss, but it’s also linked to heart attacks and strokes!
What would Affiliated Dentists recommend for gum disease?
For preventative care, make sure you always go to your regular cleanings and checkups. If you are diagnosed with gum disease, your hygienist and/or doctor may prescribe what is called a periodontal scaling and root planing, or “deep cleaning.” This is a special, more advanced type of cleaning that not only cleans each tooth, but also underneath your gums as well. After you have this done, you will be put on a more regular maintenance schedule, which is typically returning every three to four months instead of six to make sure the gum disease doesn’t come back.
Problem number 4: Oral Cancer
Did you know that the Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that someone in the US dies every hour of oral cancer? It is an extremely serious disease that not enough people take seriously. Surprisingly, it is very curable.
What would Affiliated Dentists recommend for oral cancer?
At every cleaning you get a dentist will do an oral cancer screening. During this exam one of the things they are checking for are any signs of oral cancer. This is why it is extremely important to keep up on your regular six month cleanings!
Problem number 5: Mouth Sores
We’ve all had them: pesky canker sores or cold sores. They are not only painful, but can sometimes even be embarrassing. Most do go away within a few days, especially with the help of an over the counter cream, but if any last more than two weeks with no sign of fading, it’s time to give us a call! The two most common causes of mouth sores are local trauma (biting your lip, cutting it against a rough filling, etc) and canker sores, which are benign and non-contagious mouth ulcers. The latter has many triggers, ranging from stress and hormones to allergies.
What would Affiliated Dentists recommend for mouth sores?
If you have a mouth sore that’s lasted more than two weeks, definitely come in for a quick exam so your dentist can make sure it isn’t something more serious, such as a sign of oral cancer (see above). There are some medications we can suggest for your particular mouth sore to help get rid of it quicker or at least to take care of the pain associated with it.