Oral health can be confusing. After all, oral health includes the teeth, gums, tongue, and the entire anatomy of the oral-facial facial system. Not to mention, oral health has a well-researched history of being tied to overall health. For example, oral health may contribute to things such as cardiovascular disease, pregnancy complications, and pneumonia. But some oral health problems are more common, and you shouldn’t shy away from seeing your dentist in Nashville if you suspect that something is wrong.
Cavities are the most common oral health problem that affects both kids and adults. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 90% of American adults over 20 years old have had at least one cavity in their lifetime. Cavities develop when bacteria in the mouth produce acid and erode tooth enamel, permanently. These acids then continue to work their way into the tooth, breaking down tooth structure, and resulting in cavities. Some signs that you may have a cavity include:
- Sensitivity or pain
- Bad breath
- Noticeable tooth discoloration
- Bad taste in the mouth
The good news is that your dentist in Nashville can easily treat cavities in the early stages.
Another very common yet very concerning oral health problem is gum disease. The CDC reports that about 47% of Americans over 30 and 70% of those 65 and older have some form of gum disease. In the beginning stages, gum disease is known as gingivitis, and it can be treated and stopped. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis can lead to receding gums, a bad taste in the mouth, and even tooth loss. Some symptoms of gingivitis and periodontitis are:
- Bleeding gums
- Red, swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Pain when you chew
Bad breath affects nearly 32% of the population, but that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to deal with. Bad breath, also called halitosis, happens to everyone once in a while, but when it’s chronic, it can be a sign of a larger issue. Bad breath can be caused by numerous things such as:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Dry mouth
- Certain Medications
If you’re dealing with bad breath, it’s important to talk with your dentist in Nashville.
Many other dental problems are just as common and just as serious as those listed here such as tooth sensitivity, dry mouth, and receding gums. That’s one reason why it’s so crucial that you see your dentist in Nashville at least twice a year and communicate honestly with any concerns you may have. After all, early intervention is key to successful treatment.