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Common Dental Problems and How to Deal With Them


A girl getting her teeth cleaned.

Good oral health is essential for overall well-being, but even with proper care, dental problems can still arise. From cavities to gum disease, these common dental issues can be painful and affect our daily lives. However, with the right knowledge and care, they can often be prevented or treated.


Here are some of the most common dental problems and practical advice on how to deal with them.


Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also known as dental cavities, occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acid that erodes the enamel and underlying structures of a tooth. This can lead to holes, or cavities, in the tooth that can cause pain and sensitivity, and potentially lead to more serious dental problems if left untreated.


To prevent tooth decay, it is important to practice good oral hygiene habits such as brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using mouthwash to remove bacteria and plaque from your mouth. Additionally, limiting your consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks can also help to prevent tooth decay.


If you already have a cavity, your dentist will typically remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill the cavity with a material such as an amalgam or composite resin. In some cases, a dental crown may be necessary to restore the tooth to its normal shape and function.


Enamel Erosion

Enamel erosion is the loss of tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of the tooth, due to the chemical dissolution by acids. This can be caused by several factors such as consuming acidic foods and drinks, bulimia and GERD, brushing teeth too hard or using a toothbrush with hard bristles, and aging.


To limit enamel erosion, there are a few steps that can be taken: start by reducing your consumption of acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, sports drinks, and wine. Drink plenty of water to help rinse away acid from your mouth. Also, brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and wait at least 30 minutes after consuming acidic foods or drinks before brushing.


Receding Gums

Receding gums occur when the gum tissue surrounding the teeth pulls back or wears away, exposing more of the tooth and sometimes even the tooth roots. This can be caused by various factors, including genetics, aggressive brushing, periodontal disease, and aging.


To deal with receding gums, it's important to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing daily. Using mouthwash can also help to control plaque and reduce the risk of gum disease. If the cause is gum disease, a deep cleaning procedure known as scaling and root planing can also be performed by a dental professional to remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line.


If you live in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and are experiencing dental problems or need professional help, don't hesitate to contact Clay & Associates DDS, PLC! Our team of experienced dentists is dedicated to providing high-quality dental care and helping you achieve a healthy smile. Get in touch with us today and let us help you with all your dental needs.


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