Teeth issues are among the most common health problems found in adults. Although plenty of efforts have been made to support healthy oral habits starting in childhood, many adults either do not know how to or are not willing to follow strict dental hygiene routines. As a result, there are numerous common teeth problems that can be targeted by standard preventative dental care and other dental services.
What Is Preventative Dentistry?
Preventative dentistry encompasses all dentistry practices that work to prevent issues before they arise. Preventative dentistry is most often associated with yearly checkups and cleanings, but there is far more that goes into preventing dental problems than simply cleaning teeth and having an x-ray taken.
To truly prevent issues with your dental health, dentists will not only clean teeth; they will also inspect your teeth and gums for signs of disease and decay, and evaluate your oral cavity for symptoms of oral cancer and other conditions. Because there is far more that can go wrong with your oral health than tooth decay and gum disease, the focus of preventative dentistry is not merely targeting decay, but the support of your oral health, from the health of your teeth to the health of your gums and tissues.
Preventing Disease and Decay
Preventing disease and decay is most often accomplished by conducting routine cleanings (usually at least twice per year) and undergoing routine evaluations. These can identify any areas of concern and prevent the onset of decay or disease.
In addition to routine cleanings, dentists can apply sealants and fluoride treatments to further reduce the likelihood of decay setting in. Sealants fill in areas of the tooth that are prone to decay, while fluoride can fortify teeth and decrease bacteria’s efficacy in penetrating teeth. These treatments are more common in childhood, but they can certainly be given to adults, and have become increasingly common targeted treatments in adult treatment centers.
Getting Ahead of More Serious Issues
There are some more serious issues that are targeted by preventative dentistry, including serious infection, gum disease, and oral cancer. Preventative dentistry will get ahead of these issues by screening for oral cancer signs, addressing any infections that may be in the early stages, and performing scaling and planing or laser treatments for gum disease. Getting ahead of these issues quickly is the most effective way to make sure they do not have a lasting impact on your oral health.
What Are Teeth Problems?
Teeth problems are classified as any issues that pose a hazard to your dental or oral health. Teeth problems are not relegated to issues with the structure of a tooth, as oral cancer, gum disease, and bad breath all affect and fall under the purview of “teeth problems.” For this reason, the term “teeth problems” may be used interchangeably with “oral health problems.” All components of your oral cavity are linked, and when something goes awry with one component of your mouth, the others frequently follow suit.
Although gum disease (also called periodontal disease) may be common, it is an extremely problematic condition that can lead to chronic inflammation and disease and can even eventually cause loss of teeth and impaired eating. Gum disease is one of the most common oral diseases found in adults. Fortunately, there are simple and effective treatments available for periodontal disease, many of them completed easily at most dental offices.
Tooth decay is another of the most common issues wreaking havoc on dental health. Tooth decay can be seen in the youngest child to the oldest adult, and occurs when the hard outer layer of the tooth is breached by bacteria and bacteria begins eating away at the tooth. Tooth decay can be mild, and treated without a drill, or can be severe, and require a more involved procedure known as a root canal. Untreated, tooth decay can even lead to tooth loss, which can result in bone loss.
There are other tooth issues that can lead to damage and decay. Abscesses and broken teeth can also welcome decay, and failing to treat these problems promptly can produce far more than a simple cavity. Addressing broken, chipped, or dying teeth is vital in making sure that your oral health is at its peak, and failing to heal these issues can lead to the development of further disease and damage to the oral cavity.
Oral cancer can present with plenty of symptoms, but it can also be silent as it damages the tissues in your mouth. Oral cancer is often not easily spotted by your average person and requires the practiced or trained eye of a dental professional.
Oral cancer presents in many different forms. Small white sores and growths can suggest the presence of oral cancer, as can large, raised, and red bumps. Gum and tooth discoloration can also suggest the onset of oral cancer. Regular visits to the dentist are usually responsible for the identification of oral cancers.
Diminished Oral Health
Common dental problems like sensitive teeth and dry mouth can signal much deeper issues. Diminished oral health can be caused by oral hygiene practices, but can also signal dental emergencies. Diminished oral health can be caught during regular dental visits, and the most likely solutions can be applied to make sure that your oral health achieves its best possible chance of recovery.
What to Expect of Preventative Dentistry
Preventative dentistry is one of the simplest and most straightforward forms of dentistry. Although it is most often associated with basic, twice-yearly cleanings, preventative dentistry can encompass far more than a simple tooth cleaning. Instead, you can expect a thorough examination of your oral cavity, the removal of plaque and tartar that is difficult or impossible to remove without professional tools, and even an x-ray to determine what other concerns might be trying to rise up in your oral cavity.
At Radiant Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we value your time and health. We offer preventative services for teeth problems in Pineville, NC, including teeth cleaning, extractions, dental exams, and x-rays. Reach out to us today to learn more!