When something starts feeling wrong in our body, it is very easy to start to panic and let our minds get carried away thinking of what could be wrong with us. Dental problems are very common. In fact, did you know that tooth decay is the second most common disease, second only to the common cold? This statistic may seem crazy, but it’s true! And it proves how important it is to take care of your teeth properly! In this blog we’re going to discuss the symptoms of the most common dental problems, so you can know if something is off with your dental health.
As mentioned before, tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems, and it’s not just found in children, adults suffer from it too. A decaying tooth, also known as a cavity, is caused by a bacteria that turns the sugar and carbs that we eat into an acid that destroys the tooth’s enamel.
You will most likely not realize you have a cavity right away. It’s not until the bacteria has eaten its way through the enamel that you will begin to feel discomfort and sensitivity when you eat or drink hot or cold foods and beverages. A quick appointment with your dentist to get your cavity filled will get rid of your symptoms in no time!
Gum Disease is another surprisingly common dental problem that many people face. In a study done by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they found that half of adults over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. Gum disease is an infection in the gum tissue that is caused by plaque buildup and a lack of brushing.
Gum disease has a few more unpleasant symptoms than cavities do. Like tooth decay, your teeth will be sensitive, but you may also experience bad breath that won’t go away, swollen and/or receding gums, loose teeth, and/or painful chewing.
Another one of the most common dental problems is a toothache. Sometimes, a toothache can be a symptom of a more serious dental issue like a cavity, or damaged filling, or it can sometimes be caused by something as simple as a piece of food stuck in your teeth. A toothache comes on fast and strong, and luckily there are some short-term remedies for them. But first, let’s go over the symptoms of a toothache.
A toothache can cause sharp, throbbing or constant pain, swollen gums, or even a fever or headache. If you experience any of these issues the best thing to do it to make an appointment with your dentist to make sure it is just a toothache and nothing more serious. In the meantime, here are some ways you can temporarily ease the pain:
- Rinse your mouth out with salt water
- Apply heat to reduce pain, and apply cold to reduce swelling
- Take over-the-counter painkillers
A cracked tooth will often have no symptoms, and people often have them without even realizing it. A tooth can crack from grinding teeth, a hard blow to the mouth, chewing on hard foods like ice or hard candy, or simply just from aging.
As we mentioned before you may not feel a cracked tooth at all. But, symptoms may include sharp pain that comes and goes, sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet foods, or pain while chewing, especially after you release a bite.
Your Temporomandibular Joint, or more commonly known as your TMJ, is the joint that connects your jaw to your temporal bones and allows your jaw to move freely. Problems with your TMJ are called Temporomandibular Disorders, or TMD. There is not an exact known number of how many Americans suffer from TMD, but researchers assume it is over 10 million! It’s found more commonly in women than men, and mostly among people between 20 and 40 years of age.
TMD symptoms can arise from a list of different things; grinding or clenching your teeth, arthritis, stress that can cause you to tighten your facial muscles, and more. TMD also causes the worst symptoms out of all the dental issues we have discussed thus far. Symptoms include:
- Pain and tenderness in your mouth, neck, and shoulders
- Having trouble opening your mouth wide
- Clicking or popping of your jaw when opening and closing your mouth
- Your jaw getting stuck in an open or closed position
- Swelling in the face
- Trouble chewing
There are many different ways to treat TMD. Some mild cases can be treated by at home remedies and practices, but some require more professional medical attention. There are many different ways to treat TMD depending on the severity of it and the suffering individual’s preferences.
If you have an ache or pain or are feeling any discomfort in your mouth you should not panic, but you should schedule a visit to your dentist, just to make sure everything is running smoothly! Your dentist will put your mind at ease and tell you how to deal with the issue so it doesn’t get any worse! If you’ve been experiencing any of these symptoms or think you have one of these very common dental problems, book an appointment with us today and we will be more than happy to help you out!