Common Dental Problems for Patients in Hamilton

Everyone experiences dental problems from time to time, big or small – especially if we’ve been neglecting our oral health. But the good news is, most of these issues are preventable, and all of them are treatable.

With that said, below are some of the most common dental problems experienced by patients that our Hamilton dentists and team are fortunately capable of treating:

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, otherwise referred to as dental caries, is a preventable disease. And while caries may not endanger your life, they can certainly negatively impact your oral health and ultimately your quality of life.

When your teeth and gums are exposed to starches and sugars, bacterial acids form and begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth and form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth, with tooth decay resulting.

What begins as mild tooth decay often progresses into an irreversible cavity, in which case a restorative dental filling is required to protect the tooth from further damage

Tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is a very common issue, especially when the teeth are exposed to hot or cold foods and beverages. Simply breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth! However, the severity of a tooth sensitivity problem will depend on a number of factors, including the health and condition of the tooth enamel and gum tissue. For example, enamel with microscopic cracks or signs of wear will expose more of the tooth’s sensitive inner layers to sensitivity triggers; receded gums will also expose the sensitive root of the tooth.

Periodontal “Gum” Disease

Periodontal (gum) disease is capable of causing inflammation in its early stages, and eventual tooth loss, gum recession and bone damage in its advanced stages. And in recent years, bacterial inflammation associated with gum disease has been linked to serious health complications such as stroke, coronary artery disease, and premature, low birth-weight babies

Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Gums in the early stage of disease (gingivitis) bleed easily and become red and swollen. As gingivitis progresses into periodontitis when no action is taken, the teeth may fall out or require removal by a dentist.

The good news is, gum disease is highly preventable and can generally be avoided through daily brushing and flossing. Our Hamilton dentists and hygienists take great care to identify and treat gum disease early to keep you and your mouth healthy, and treatment is available for every case.

Common problems associated with gum disease:
  • Gums that bleed with brushing or flossing
  • Discolouration or inflammation/puffiness of the gum tissue
  • Consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Gum recession (roots of the teeth become exposed, resulting in a “long” teeth appearance)
  • Discoloured or deteriorating tooth structure
  • Teeth that become loose, eventually requiring extraction or a dental implant procedure

The effects of gum disease can be severely damaging to your oral health. However, through proper preventive care and oral hygiene, you can avoid these issues and maintain a healthy, attractive smile.

Gum Disease

Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Gums in the early stage of disease, or gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing. One indicator of gum disease is consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. Daily brushing and flossing helps to prevent the build-up of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. While certain foods, such as garlic or anchovies, may create temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another oral health problem.

Canker Sores

Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth, typically containing a white or gray base surrounded by a red border. While it’s common for canker sores to periodically recur, generally lasting one to two weeks during a flare-up, the duration and severity of these sores can be reduced through the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents.

Orthodontic Problems

An improper bite, otherwise known as malocclusion, occurs when the top and bottom teeth do not properly meet as they should when biting down. Some cases of malocclusion can be inherited, and some may be acquired. Malocclusion may also describe cases of extra, crowded, gappy or missing teeth in the mouth. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period of time, may cause issues with the bite and positioning of the teeth.

Fortunately, our Hamilton dentists offer orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign® clear aligners and traditional braces, capable of realigning the teeth and correcting different cases of malocclusion. Invisalign® is ideal for more mild to moderate cases and is generally used to straighten crooked teeth and close gaps, while traditional metal braces are ideal for more severe bite misalignment.

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