Solutions for the Most Prevalent Dental Problems
When dental problems strike, reaching out to a skilled dental care team will help you get on the road to a beautiful, healthy smile. Millennium Dental provides this level of care by providing comprehensive dentistry services, including general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry.
Here are the top 10 most common dental problems we see in our practice and the techniques we use to treat them.
1. Tooth Decay
The most prevalent dental problem is tooth decay. Untreated tooth decay destroys tooth enamel and can lead to a terrible toothache. In fact, many dental problems in this list can be attributed to tooth decay.
We treat tooth decay by removing decay and damage, and then treating the vulnerable tooth with a filling or dental crown. For decay that has reached the root of the tooth, we may need to first treat it with root canal therapy before placing a crown. We also go over healthy oral hygiene habits for patients to practice at home.
The very last resort is extraction of the tooth, followed by some form of restorative care to replace it—more on that later!
2. Periodontal Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease comes in at a very close second behind tooth decay in terms of prevalence in adults. Periodontal disease typically begins as gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums, and gradually advances into periodontitis and a gum infection.
We treat periodontal disease with a form of treatment called periodontal therapy. This involves the removal of bacteria and damaged gum tissue, as well as frequent deep-cleaning sessions to keep the gum pockets free from future infection.
If severe periodontitis has caused permanent damage, we will then help patients recover their smile through restorative dentistry and possibly oral surgery to repair any damaged gum tissue.
3. Oral Infections
Oral infections of any kind are a very serious situation that usually involve an urgent care appointment. The two most common examples of an oral infection are either an abscessed tooth or a gum infection attributed to periodontal disease. They are typically very painful and patients tend to experience additional symptoms, such as swelling and fever.
We take swift action to get infections under control as quickly as possible, usually with antibiotics. We will also examine the patient to determine the underlying cause of the infection and begin forming a treatment plan to solve the problem.
4. Chronic Halitosis
Halitosis isn’t just a self-confidence issue, it’s a sign that something is going on under the surface. It could be because of a cavity or mild infection or something as simple as a stuck piece of food. Dry mouth is another possible cause of chronic halitosis.
Patients experiencing halitosis will be thoroughly examined and we’ll also go through their medical history, including medications and any recent lifestyle changes. If we find a physical issue apparent in the mouth, such as a cavity, we’ll move forward with treatment. If we can’t find an apparent reason, we’ll work together to troubleshoot the problem and find oral care products that can help.
Bruxism or teeth grinding can be a symptom of a physical issue, such as a misaligned bite, or a behavioral problem. In some cases it may even be a combination of both. Either way, bruxism can be harmful to your oral health and lead to permanently damaged or worn teeth without treatment.
We treat bruxism by diagnosing the underlying cause, protecting the teeth with an oral appliance or night guard to halt any further damage, and determining the best course of action for fixing the problem long-term. For a misaligned bite, orthodontic care may be the most effective solution.
6. Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth can be painful and problematic. We typically recommend wisdom teeth be removed before they cause a problem, especially if X-rays show they are impacted or crooked under the gums. If impacted wisdom teeth aren’t removed, they can lead to an uncomfortable feeling of pain and pressure located in the rear of the mouth. As they continue to erupt, they can also crowd the molars and cause teeth-alignment issues.
We treat impacted wisdom teeth by removing them via oral surgery extraction.
7. Toothache or Sensitivity
Tooth pain and sensitivity are signs that some sort of damage has occurred. It could be a cavity, a broken tooth, or thinning enamel. Even a mild toothache warrants a trip to the dentist. Teeth sensitivity while drinking hot or cold beverages should also be checked out, even if you don’t experience pain at other times.
We diagnose toothaches and teeth sensitivity through a general examination and standard treatment, such as filling a cavity. For teeth sensitivity related to thinning enamel, we may instead recommend crowning the teeth or possibly using veneers.
8. Missing Teeth
When a badly broken or decayed tooth is removed, that isn’t necessarily the end of the problem. While the troublesome tooth is now gone, it leaves a gap in the smile. Missing teeth lead to bone loss in the jaw and shifting of the neighboring teeth surrounding the gap. Both of these spell trouble and will eventually cause future problems.
We treat missing teeth by replacing them with dental implants, dental bridges, implant-supported dentures, and more. We make this decision with our patients during an initial consultation to ensure the replacement prosthetic tooth is the best choice for their needs.
9. Broken or Chipped Teeth
Broken and chipped teeth can occur from an impact or injury, bruxism, or damaged enamel giving way due to a cavity.
Superficial chips can be fixed with an onlay, inlay, or dental bonding to reshape and fill the missing enamel. Deep chips or cracks may need to be mended with something more protective, like a dental crown. For badly broken teeth that can’t be saved, extraction may be the last resort, followed by a prosthetic tooth.
10. Discolored Teeth
Permanently stained or discolored teeth may not be able to be whitened. By offering cosmetic dentistry services, we can help patients with both their functional and esthetic dental care needs, including changing the color of their teeth.
Professional whitening works well on healthy natural teeth, but permanently stained teeth may need some extra assistance. Some treatment options include crowning teeth, placing porcelain veneers, or using bonding to achieve an even, bright appearance.
Gentle, Effective Dental Care to Support Your Long-Term Oral Health
To make the most of your dental visits and unlock optimal oral health, it’s important to find a dentist that you can trust with your smile on a long-term basis. The Millennium Dental team provides compassionate dental care in a welcoming office outfitted with the latest in dental technology. We want to help you get relief from your dental problems right now and develop a lasting relationship to help prevent and proactively treat future issues.
To schedule an appointment with us, feel free to either call our Plano, TX office or fill out this online form.