Your mouth may seem like a small part of your body, but it gets a lot of use every day and small oral health issues are likely to arise fairly often. Here are 5 of the most common problems our patients experience and some tips on how to avoid them.
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Everyone experiences bad breath sometimes, as much as we may not want to admit it. Luckily, bad breath is usually something that good oral care at home can fix. Make sure you brush and floss regularly, use a freshening mouthwash, and clean your tongue to remove excess bacteria.
If you have persistent halitosis, this can often be caused by an underlying dental condition such as gum disease, cavities or chronic dry mouth. A trip to your dentist will be necessary to find the root cause of the problem.
Gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, is a bacterial infection caused by a build-up of plaque in the mouth. This is simple to prevent with twice daily brushing, daily flossing and regular dental check-ups. If you do develop an early stage gum disease, these practices at home should be enough to reverse the damage. However, if your gums are bleeding regularly and quickly become red or swollen, you will need to see a dentist for treatment and possible antibiotics. Left untreated, gum disease can ultimately result in tooth loss so make sure not to ignore the signs.
Tooth decay is caused when plaque is allowed to build up on your teeth. This plaque combines with sugars and starches you eat to produce corrosive acids. The first step in preventing tooth decay, and the cavities it can cause, is to limit your exposure to these corrosive acids by eating a healthy diet and limiting your sugar intake. Children and the elderly are naturally more at risk and will need to take extra care. Generally speaking, the better your oral health routine, the stronger your protection against decay – and that goes for people of all ages!
Mouth ulcers are generally harmless but they can be bothersome, making eating or speaking uncomfortable. Canker sores and ulcers are most often caused by damage to the mouth or stress and will usually disappear on their own after a week or so. If you get them often, try to prevent this reoccurrence by avoiding spicy or acidic foods or anything that irritates your mouth.
Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects millions of Australians. When teeth become sensitive, you can experience pain from exposure to extreme temperatures such as hot coffee or cold ice cream; you can even experience sensitivity from eating too much sugar or even just from brushing.
Sensitivity can be caused by gum recession or enamel erosion or you may just be unlucky! Fortunately, mild sensitivity is easily prevented by brushing with a soft brush and using fluoride toothpaste. You should also limit your intake of sugary or acidic foods – speak to your dentist about changing your oral care routine.
If you’d like to arrange a dental appointment, call Ipswich Family Dental now on 07 3201 6767 (Brassall) or 07 3281 1781 (Ipswich) or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.