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What Are The Most Common Dental Issues And How To Prevent Them? Continued.

Following on from the previous post, here are some more common dental problems that people suffer with and how to treat them.

Cracked Or Broken Teeth

Teeth can crack for many reasons such as:

  • Pressure from grinding your teeth.
  • Large fillings that have weakened the tooth.
  • Chewing or biting hard foods such as ice, nuts, or boiled sweets.
  • Injury.
  • Age.

Treatment depends on the size of the crack, where it is, and your symptoms. Your dentist may recommend one of the following:

  • Bonding: Using a plastic resin to fill the crack.
  • Crown: A dental crown is a cap placed over the damaged tooth.
  • Root canal: When a crack is so large that it extends into your pulp, your dentist may recommend a root canal to remove the damaged pulp. This will help to prevent the tooth from becoming weaker.
  • Extraction: If the tooth, and the nerves below it are so damaged, the only option may be to remove it.
  • No treatment: If the cracked tooth isn’t affecting your appearance and isn’t causing any pain, your dentist may advise leaving it alone.

Receding Gums

Receding gums are a condition in which your gums pull back from your teeth, exposing the root surfaces. They can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Aggressive brushing over a long period of time.
  • Build up of hardened plaque.
  • Smoking.
  • Family history of gum disease.
  • Diabetes.
  • HIV.

One of the best ways to prevent receding gums is to visit your dentist regularly. Even if you don’t notice any symptoms, a dentist will be able to see the early signs of gum disease. You can also help to prevent gum problems by practicing good oral hygiene, by brushing twice daily and flossing once a day.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth happens when the salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva. This causes a dry feeling in your mouth. It can also cause bad breath, dry throat and cracked lips.

The causes include:

  • Dehydration: This can be caused by not drinking enough water, vomiting, or sweating. When you’re dehydrated your mouth produces less saliva.
  • Medications: Dry mouth could be a side effect of certain medications, including those that treat anxiety, depression, diarrhoea, high blood pressure and asthma. It is important that you don’t stop taking these medications until you have spoken to your doctor.
  • Radiation therapy: Dry mouth is a common side effect of radiation to the head and neck. Radiation causes damage to the salivary glands causing them to produce less saliva.
  • Stress: When you’re anxious, your body makes more cortisol which changes the composition of your saliva.
  • Snoring and mouth breathing: Breathing through your mouth causes saliva to evaporate.
  • Smoking: Smoking can reduce the production of tobacco.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is often stress related. It can be caused by:

  • Stress and anxiety.
  • Sleeping problems like snoring and sleep apnoea.
  • Taking certain medications.
  • Smoking, drinking lots of alcohol and caffeine.

To prevent teeth grinding:

  • Find ways to relax. Try breathing exercises or doing something that you enjoy like listening to music or doing exercise.
  • Try to improve your sleep by developing a routine of going to bed at the same time every night.
  • Have regular dental check-ups.
  • Ask your dentist if they think a nightguard would help.

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