No one likes to deal with oral health issues, even if they are considered “common.” At All Smiles Care, your Westminster family dentist office, we understand how you feel. We don’t like dental problems either and we are passionate about helping our patients successfully deal with them.
One way to do this is to provide our patients with top-notch education. If our patients and readers understand what causes common dental issues, they’ll understand what’s needed to reduce their risk and treat the problems.
5 Common Oral Health Issues: What a Westminster Family Dentist Does to Treat Them
Listed below are five oral health issues that we see quite often, and what can be done to treat the problem.
- Difficulty Biting and Chewing
What Causes the Problem? In some cases, people are having problems chewing because of TMJ and jaw pain. Another cause could be related to tooth issues, especially cracked teeth, a bad bite, or decay. All of these could contribute to sensitivity or pain while chewing or biting.
How Your Westminster Family Dentist Treats This Issue: To treat TMJ, a TMJD dentist may recommend physical therapy, massage, splint therapy, and TENS therapy. TENS therapy is a way to treat jaw pain with electricity, and is one treatment that our patients have benefited from at All Smiles Care.
In cases of decay, a bad bite, or cracked teeth a Westminster family dentist will recommend removing the decay and filling the tooth, treating the bite with orthodontia, or treating cracked teeth with crowns or overlays.
- Jaw Pain
What Causes the Problem? When treating a patient with jaw pain, a dentist will often diagnose TMJ. Patients with this disorder often experience chronic headaches, neck pain, tender facial muscles, and tooth pain in addition to jaw pain. A dentist will check the jaw for popping and clicking and take x-rays to check for joint and cartilage damage, including arthritis.
How Your Westminster Family Dentist Treats This Issue: A TMJD dentist will recommend placing heat on the jaw joint to relax the jaw muscles. We’ve also recommended alternating heat and ice to reduce inflammation as well. Some patients benefit from biofeedback, TENS therapy, and physical therapy. On the other hand, others have benefitted from an adjustment to their bite, including orthodontia, a simple bite adjustment, and replacing ill-fitting crowns or fillings.
- Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
What Causes the Problem? Dealing with dry mouth is not just annoying; it can cause other dental problems, particularly decay. Xerostomia is often caused by medications, including those used to treat allergies, depression, and nerve pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other causes include:
- Cancer therapies
- Autoimmune diseases, including HIV/AIDS
- Tobacco products.
How Your Westminster Family Dentist Treats This Issue: There are a number of ways that patients can treat xerostomia on their own. They can quit tobacco products, drink more water, reduce their caffeine and sugary drink consumption, and add a humidifier to their home. At All Smiles Care, we’ve often recommended that our patients try saliva-replacement products like Biotene mouth rinses, mouth sprays, and non-sugar lozenges with xylitol.
- Stained Teeth
What Causes the Problem? Most of us have had to deal with teeth staining at one time or another. Staining can be caused by the foods and drinks we consume, especially dark drinks like coffee, tea, and soda. People who use tobacco or marijuana products also deal with stain, but this type of stain tends to be more tenacious and difficult for patients to remove on their own.
Besides aesthetics, these types of stains should be removed because they are sticky and attract plaque, making decay more likely. Some patients have intrinsic stains, those that come from the inside of the tooth. These stains can be caused by medications or a nerve that’s died.
How Your Westminster Family Dentist Treats This Issue: With very basic staining, a simple cleaning and polishing can take care of the issue. For those who still have stains, the best option is teeth whitening. A Westminster dentist can provide direction regarding in-office vs. at-home bleaching systems.
Even teeth that have a dead nerve and root canal treatment can benefit from internal teeth bleaching. A Westminster dentist may alternatively recommend veneers or composite bonding to cover intrinsic staining.
- Chipped and/or Missing Teeth
What Causes the Problem? Chipped or missing teeth can be caused by an accident, periodontal disease, using teeth as tools, or a bite that isn’t ideal. Missing teeth can lead to other missing, chipped, or cracked teeth. Teeth naturally drift into open spaces. When they drift, they tend to “lean” instead of moving in a straight line. This means that it can be more difficult to clean the other teeth or put a new tooth into the open space.
Another reason why it’s important to treat chipped or missing teeth is because this can cause the patient’s bite to change. A changed bite can lead to cracked teeth and tooth or jaw pain. A dentist will recommend that the bite be addressed right away.
How Your Westminster Family Dentist Treats This Issue: Treatment of chipped or missing teeth can range from orthodontia and a bite adjustment to implants and crowns. Westminster comprehensive dentistry often includes multiple treatments to achieve the ideal results. In many cases, patients will restore their teeth with implants, crowns, and the icing on the cake: tooth bleaching to achieve the smile of their dreams.
Comprehensive Dentistry: How Westminster Dentists Successfully Treat Dental Issues
Are you dealing with any of these five common oral health issues? If so, we welcome you to contact us for more information about how Dr. Imm and All Smiles Care can treat your dental issues with comprehensive dentistry. Westminster patients can also continue perusing our site to find out more about the services we provide. We highly recommend treating any dental problems as soon as possible. The sooner you address them, the sooner you will be able to reduce pain or discomfort and achieve a beautiful smile.