Maintaining good oral health is important, but unfortunately, even with good oral care, many people experience a dental problem of some sort at some point in their lives, whether it be cavities, gum disease, enamel erosion, or other concerns.
Treatment vs. Cure
It’s critical to address these concerns promptly, before the condition worsens. However, it’s also crucial to understand that, in many cases, a complete “cure” may not be possible.
Dental enamel and gum tissue do not regenerate, although they can be effectively treated so your mouth can stay healthy, and you can continue to use your teeth as you would normally, especially if you have any concerns addressed quickly. However, because tooth enamel and gum tissues do not regenerate, it’s important to protect them, and prioritize preventive care as much as possible.
Common Dental Problems and Treatment Options to Restore Teeth and Gums
There are several common dental problems that many people may experience. While dental enamel and gum tissue do not regenerate, modern dentistry offers various effective treatments to address these issues and many others, to maintain your oral health. For better treatment outcomes, it’s better to see a dentist as soon as possible.
Cavities occur due to dental decay, or the demineralization of tooth enamel by acids produced by harmful bacteria. Poor oral hygiene, sugary diets, and lack of regular dental check-ups can contribute to cavities.
For cavities, dentists use fillings, usually made of a composite resin material, to restore tooth structure. Crowns may be recommended for more extensive damage, providing a protective covering to support weakened teeth.
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar on teeth. It starts as mild gingivitis and progresses to severe periodontitis, leading eventually to gum recession, bone and tooth loss, and systemic health issues.
To treat gum disease, a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing is performed to remove plaque and tartar buildup from below the gumline. This helps prevent further damage to the gums and bone underneath.
In cases of severe gum recession, gum grafting, a surgical procedure where tissue from another part of the mouth is used to cover exposed tooth roots and restore gum health, can help.
Dental enamel is the hard outer layer of teeth. Acidic foods, drinks, and acid reflux can gradually wear away this protective layer, leading to enamel erosion and increased tooth sensitivity.
Dental bonding can address minor enamel erosion. A thin layer of a composite resin material is applied to the tooth surface, covering it to protect it and reduce sensitivity. Desensitizing toothpaste can help, too, by blocking the channels to the nerves inside the tooth.
Root Canal Infection
A root canal infection occurs when the pulp inside a tooth becomes infected. Bacteria can reach these inner tissues when there is enough decay or trauma. This causes severe pain, swelling, abscesses formation and even tooth loss.
Root Canal Therapy
During root canal procedures, the infected pulp is removed. Then, the cleared out canal is cleaned and disinfected before being filled and sealed. This relieves the pain, saves the tooth, and prevents the infection from spreading.
If a tooth is knocked out, and if the tooth is taken in good condition to an emergency dentist quickly enough, it may be possible to save the tooth. However, in most cases, a missing tooth cannot be fixed, and must be replaced to maintain oral function and prevent oral health concerns that a gap can lead to.
Replacement Tooth Options
Tooth loss can be addressed with dental implants, which are artificial tooth roots surgically placed into the jawbone. Bridges or dentures may also be used.
Be Cautious About Home “Cures” and DIY Toothache Remedies
Be wary of home remedies you may discover on the internet. Some, like using a cold compress or salty, warm water to reduce pain can be helpful, and some herbs have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, but there are many that claim to regrow tooth enamel, which is not possible, and some may aggravate your condition.
Also, without a proper diagnosis, using dental x-rays and other imaging technology, you may not be addressing the true cause of your dental issue.
Tooth Pain Relief
Frequently, a person with a decayed or infected tooth may be concerned most about pain relief, as the tooth pain associated with these conditions can be severe.
While you can use an over the counter pain reliever and try salt water rinses for temporary relief of tooth discomfort, persistent toothache, and excessive pain from dental conditions, to permanently relieve tooth pain, you will need to see a dentist.
Prevention Is Key
While dental treatments are highly effective, advanced gum infections or diseases and other dental conditions are permanent. Prevention is always best.
Maintain a thorough oral hygiene routine; brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and floss daily. Make sure to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, to ensure you have the nutrition you need for healthy teeth, while limiting sugary and acidic foods and beverages, to avoid enamel erosion from the acids.
Also, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol, as these are linked to oral health concerns. If you participate in sports or grind your teeth at night, wearing a mouthguard is another measure you can take to protect your teeth.
Dental Care to Help
Even if you practice excellent oral hygiene, dentists provide additional preventive care to help you avoid issues, such as professional cleanings and fluoride treatments. This helps you prioritize preventive care.
Dental problems can still arise; however, the good news is that dentistry also offers a wide array of treatments to address them effectively, to restore teeth and function, and treat and manage conditions that cannot be fully restored.
By seeking regular care and early treatment, practicing good oral hygiene, and adopting preventive measures, you can maintain your oral health. Be sure to regularly schedule dental check-ups as a critical step towards that.
At Gateshead Dental, we offer friendly, nonjudgmental family dental care. If you have tooth pain or questions about any other symptoms you may have, we are here to help.