Experiencing dental pain and suffering can be traumatic and unpleasant. Are you aware that most of the diseases and problems in dentistry can be easily prevented?
This issue represents the first in a two-part series on the four most common dental diseases and problems usually seen in dental offices today.
Toothaches are one of the most common tooth diseases.
They often occur unexpectedly due to an extensive decay in the tooth, wisdom teeth impaction and infection or gum abscess.
According to statistics, over 3 billion people suffer from oral disease worldwide. Those numbers are increasing rapidly within the last few years, especially with the experience associated with the covid pandemic. Toothaches affect people of all ages.
Toothaches should not be ignored. Toothaches caused by cavities or cracked teeth get worse without treatment. Sometimes, they are warning signs of a serious medical condition that requires emergency treatment.
If you have a severe toothache pain and you cannot visit a dentist, try rinsing with warm salt and water (50/50) and takean over-the-counter pain medication to manage the discomfort.
Common causes of toothaches include the following:
- Cavities are the most common cause. If left untreated, tooth abscess may occur. This is an infection of the area surrounding your teeth or the pulp inside your teeth. This warrants an emergency visit to your dentist. In some cases, the infection may spread to the brain, putting the patient’s life at risk.
- Sinusitis occurs when your sinuses are inflamed due to a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection. Since the roots of your upper teeth are close to your sinuses, they may become a toothache if you have sinusitis.
- Trigeminal neuralgia and other facia neuralgias are extremely painful neurological conditions which result in irritation and inflammation of the trigeminal or facial nerves. These nerves cater to the skull, face, and teeth. When they are inflamed, the resulting pain may appear to originate from your teeth. Only an experienced specialist or dentist can properly diagnose this ailment.
Cavities usually is manifested by dark brown holes or pits. These small holes in the teeth can be a warning sign of tooth decay. Tooth decay forms when bacteria and plaque build-up on your teeth and slowly destroy the enamel. Adults may also have problems with cavities at the gum line and around the edges of earlier fillings.
To prevent this, brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, limit junk food, floss regularly, and see your dentist periodically. Peri-apical and Bitewings x-rays in conjunction with a clinical examination are important in the proper diagnosis by your dentist
A chipped tooth is the most common dental injury. You can chip your teeth doing very basic things. Some of the more common practices that can result in chipped teeth are mistakenly biting on a fork while eating, or a bite on a hard substance when not expecting it. It could also be caused by eating popcorn or biting on a hard piece of bacon or a bone. When this happens, if it is not too severe the dentist will take necessary measures to restore the shape of the teeth such as fillings, crowns, etc. In severe cases the tooth may require a root canal and a full crown.
So, how do you prevent these injuries and these dental challenges? Start by closely examining your mouth and know the facts about good dental health. Visit your dentist at least twice per year for an exam and a cleaning. Brushing twice a day, flossing, eating properly and taking regular dental check-ups are essential steps to prevent these common dental problems
Dr. Kendal V. O. Major is Founder and CEO of Center for Specialized Dentistry which is a comprehensive family dental practice operating in Nassau. He is the first Bahamian Specialist in gum diseases and dental implants since 1989. He also is a certified Fast braces provider. His practice is located at 89 Collins Avenue, Nassau at (242)325-5165 or [email protected].