There are many reasons to seek dental care with the most common warning sign being pain or sensitivity. Regular checkups will prevent problems from occurring, and seeking treatment at the earliest sign of a problem will ensure that a more serious condition does not develop.
Some of the most common dental problems are:
Bad Breath (Halitosis) - 85% of people who suffer from chronic bad breath have an underlying dental problem that is to blame. Cavities, gum disease, bacteria on the tongue and oral cancer can all contribute to mouth odour and are all readily treatable.
Tooth Decay – Tooth decay is the 2nd most prevalent health problem in North America, following the common cold. Decay occurs when plaque comes in to contact with sugars and starches producing acid that attacks tooth enamel.
Gum Disease – There are two stages of gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis and it is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. Receding gums can be an early sign of gum disease.
Tooth Erosion – Tooth erosion is the loss of tooth structure caused by acid attacking the enamel. Symptoms can range from sensitivity to cracking of teeth.
Tooth Sensitivity – Tooth sensitivity is very common and easily treatable. It is generally a reaction to sweets, cold air and hot or cold drinks.
Oral cancer – Oral cancer pertains to the mouth, lips or throat and is highly curable with early treatment. Symptoms include sores, lumps or ulcers which are usually painless but can develop a burning sensation if they become advanced.
Unattractive Smile – Though not technically a dental problem, an unattractive smile is a major reason why people seek treatment. Stained or uneven teeth can significantly lower self esteem and, with today’s improved techniques, these problems can be corrected.
While pain and sensitivity can indicate a dental problem, there are many other potential problems a dentist can diagnose that you may not be aware of. Some of these problems are:
Infections caused by a tooth abscess can affect our overall health if not treated. The infection can reach other parts of the body through the digestive tract or the bloodstream.
Bacteria - An untreated tooth abscess can lead to a sinus infection and even a brain abscess when spread through the bloodstream. Bacteria can attach to fatty plaques existing in the bloodstream causing blood clots and, when lodged in the heart chamber, can cause a condition called Bacterial Endocarditis. Another condition called Ludwig’s Angina is caused when bacteria spreads to the face and lower jaw and can grow enough to cause suffocation.
Diabetes - People with diabetes have a higher risk of gum disease caused by high glucose levels. Since diabetes affects the ability of the body to heal itself, there is an increased risk of infection.
Chronic Kidney Disease - Studies have shown that people with no natural teeth are more likely to develop Chronic Kidney Disease which affects blood pressure, potentially causing heart disease, and kidney failure and can affect bone health.
Pregnancy – Internal infections originating in the mouth have been known to cause low birth weight. Infections can trigger the hormone prostaglandin which acts as a trigger for labour and can cause premature birth.
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