When it comes to maintaining good oral health, visiting a dentist is a must. Getting your teeth checked on a regular basis and dental cleanings are important in keeping your teeth healthy and free of plaque. Plaque is one of the root concerns that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. This is why early detection of any potential issues can help ensure that they are addressed before they get worse and result in more serious complications.

The majority of dental professionals recommend that adults visit their dentist at least twice a year for routine check-ups, in addition to regular brushing and flossing practices at home. Children should also be taken for dental visits according to their dentist's recommendation; depending on the age of the child, this could range from once every six months to once a year.

A recent study was conducted by the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare where they said that 64% of people aged 5 and over had a true cause to visit the dentist in the prior year. That equals around 15 million total patients.

A large number of the group that visit the dentist do so because they're experiencing some type of discomfort and pain. It’s the number one reason why people visit the dentist. 

In this article, we'll be exploring 5 of the most common dental problems dentists come across during routine appointments. There is good news--many people can often avoid these conditions by brushing their teeth twice daily, flossing regularly and eating healthily.

(1) Decaying Teeth

 The leading cause of toothache in small children and adults is tooth decay. It occurs when the natural plaque in your mouth melds with sugar or starch from foods.This mixture then turns into an acid that starts to eat away at the protective layer around your teeth called enamel. 

The worse part, if you leave it untreated, it’s going to cause much bigger problems later down the road. Decay is so dangerous, it can kill the whole tooth. 

Southpark Charlotte dentist Dr. Sladjana Bjelac has a deep connection with dentistry. She fully understands how small dental issues can become major dental emergencies later. She experienced the Bosnian war first hand, it made her have no choice but to mature rapidly at a very young age. Her past has made her especially aware of the hardships poor dental health can cause. This is why decay is such a dangerous condition. If you have cavities or decay, take the time to schedule an appointment.

(2) Broken/Chipped Tooth 

Even if you have a superb daily oral health care routine, accidents can still happen. 

This is especially true for contact sports, which is why you should always wear a mouthguard. Though it may not seem like it, breaking or chipping a tooth can be painful, especially if the break goes through to the nerve of the tooth. 

To strengthen the enamel of your teeth, you should eat plenty of dark leafy vegetables, dairy, and protein-rich foods. You should also avoid fizzy drinks, juice, lollies, and chocolate. 

If you chip or break a tooth, it is crucial that you see the dentist right away.

(3) Periodontal Disease

Gum disease, more commonly known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gum tissue that surrounds your teeth. This is signified by discomfort, swollen red gums that commonly bleed. Not brushing and flossing regularly leads to gum disease. 

Periodontal diseases are mainly the result of infections and inflammation of the gums and bone that surround and support the teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums can become swollen and red, and they may bleed. In its more serious form, called periodontitis, the gums can pull away from the tooth, bone can be lost, and the teeth may loosen or even fall out. Periodontal disease is mostly seen in adults. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are the two biggest threats to dental health.

A recent CDC report provides the following data related to prevalence of periodontitis in the U.S.:

  • 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease.
  • Periodontal disease increases with age, 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease.

This condition is more common in men than women (56.4% vs 38.4%), those living below the federal poverty level (65.4%), those with less than a high school education (66.9%), and current smokers (64.2%)

(4) Bad Breath

People find halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath, to be the most embarrassing of all dental conditions. Bad breath affects everyone at some point in their life. To freshen your breath throughout the day, you can use mouthwash, mints or brush your teeth a few times a day. 

Bad breath can also be a sign of a bigger problem, so if you’re experiencing bad breath more often than usual, you may want to go see a dentist.

(5) Sensitive Teeth

You may experience tooth sensitivity from time to time when you consume hot or cold foods and drinks, or even from inhaling cold air. A lot of people who go to the dentist have sensitive teeth. 

When our tooth enamel erodes, we can start to experience heightened dental sensitivity. This is because the frame below the gum line – called dentin – becomes visible and thus less protected. 

Tooth sensitivity can be lessened with fluoride, certain toothpastes, and by going to the dentist regularly.

Remember, if you are experiencing any type of these conditions, pain, or discomfort, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your local dentist.