In our last issue we presented some of the most common dental problems seen in dental offices today. We discussed the Cracked Tooth, Impacted Wisdom Tooth and Sensitive Teeth.
In this issue we will continue our series focusing on Gaps Between Teeth, Crowded Teeth and Gum Disease.
Gaps Between Teeth:
The dental condition of Gaps between your teeth is when all your teeth are present yet there are spaces. If your teeth are healthy and you simply wish to close the gaps between your teeth, there are several cosmetic dental treatments available, including:
- Dental bonding- Your dentist can apply a tooth-colored composite resin material to conceal the gaps.
- Porcelain veneers- Usual y glued on and used to fill the spaces while enhancing the cosmetics.
- Fast Braces- Looks like conventional braces however performance is simple and quick. Spaces are usually closed within 120 days.
- Dental Bridge- Two teeth are usually trimmed and a false tooth is placed in the between.
- Dental implant- Only done if placement enhances cosmetics and there is available bone.
Crowded teeth are seen when the growth of the jaw is too small for the number of teeth present. of teeth present. Crowded teeth is a common issue affecting the alignment of teeth in the mouth. Crowding cause teeth to overlap, twist and become crooked.
When teeth are crowded, it makes it difficult for them to function correctly and can lead to pain and an increased risk of cavities and gum disease.
Crowded teeth can also cause difficulty in proper oral hygiene and may cause TMJ pain, and bite problems. Crowded teeth are a common orthodontic problem that requires treatment to prevent future complications. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the crowding but may include braces, clear aligners, or other forms of orthodontic intervention. Treatment also includes ensuring proper oral hygiene is maintained to prevent further damage to the teeth.
We have discussed spacy teeth and crowded teeth. We culminate this issue with the second most common dental disease- Periodontal Disease or scientifically referred to as Periodontitis. If untreated due to mis-diagnosis or improperly treated one may lose their teeth early. Gum disease is also associated with several medical ailments; like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, Pneumonia, Covid 19, Low Birth Weight Babies and Diabetes. In essence, gum disease predisposes you to these ailments.
Gum disease is strongly associated with chronic smokers, diabetics and those with a genetic predisposition. It is characterized by bleeding gums, recession of teeth, shaky teeth, bad breath and a change in the way your teeth come together.
There are four stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis– the earliest stage and still reversible. The gums become red and inflamed. Gingivitis is extremely commons among adults and adolescents.
- Mild gum disease– the gums are red, puffy and bleed when brushing or dental examination. There is some bone loss and pockets develop between 3-5mms exist.
- Moderate gum disease- if left untreated bacteria cause an erosion of the attachment and bone around the affected teeth. Pockets depths are usually 5-7mm with bleeding.
- Advanced gum disease– seen when the bone loss and pocketing exceed 7mm. This is severe bone loss and teeth can be lost due to a gum abscess.
When treated early enough, gum disease is reversible. But if you’ve already lost bone around your teeth due to infection, the disease cannot be reversed. To reduce your risk for gum disease you should practice the following:
- Brush your teeth two to three times every day, especially before bedtime.
- Floss between your teeth daily.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Avoid smoking, vaping and other tobacco use.
- Visit your dentist for regular cleanings and exams
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].