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What Are the 4 Most Common Dental Problems?

Eating, talking, and even smiling are conditions where good teeth play a crucial function. Yet it is so easy for us to take them for granted.  Common problems which challenge our teeth and oral hygiene can be managed with constant care and attention. Not to do so could adversely affect your general health and wellbeing, so it is worth taking the time look after our teeth and know what to look out for.

What are the most common dental issues?

The importance of oral health and how it may impact so many aspects of our lives cannot be overstated.  With that in mind, these simple solutions to keep your teeth glistening and snow white should be practiced and applied consistently.

Tooth Decay – causes, symptoms and treatments.

Health issues such as tooth decay, dental caries or tooth cavities are common problems that lead to the lack of minerals from tooth enamel.  According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), over 90% of adults have experienced tooth decay.1  The risk factors that lead to the incidence of dental caries are bacterial activity as well as poor oral hygiene.

Understanding the source, preventive measures and therapies will help you understand and practice correct oral hygiene that will serve you well towards what will hopefully be a long, happy and healthy life.

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Causes of Tooth Decay

Bacterial action

Many bacteria are ever-present in our mouths and are simply part of the natural environment. Others are to be discouraged such as bacterial species known as Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus which metabolize sugars and produce acids as the end products. These acids produce plaque, a bacterial biofilm that kills the enamel (the tooth’s outer protective layer).

Poor dental care and dry mouth

The failure to follow good hygiene, which is less than ideal flossing and brushing, results in the accumulation and retention of plaques. In time, the plaque hardens into tartar (dental calculus) which accelerates decay.

Saliva is vital in maintaining oral health as it reduces acidity, cleans debris and promotes enamel remineralization.  A dry mouth can also interfere with normal salivary secretion, limiting the body’s defence mechanisms against decay.

Symptoms and Signs to look out for

  • White marks may appear on the enamel.
  • Sensibility to hot, cold or sweet stimuli.
  • Sustained pain or tenderness of the affected tooth.
  • Cavities may appear as holes in the impacted teeth.
  • Darkening of the affected tooth.

How to maintain good oral hygiene

Oral Hygiene Practices
  • Brush twice or thrice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Do floss with dental flossers daily in between the teeth.
  • Apply fluoride mouthwash for additional safety.
Dietary Modifications
  • Do not overeat sugary foods.
  • Consume plenty of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D nutrients, as such nutrients help develop healthy teeth.
  • Drink lots of water
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Treatment Options

Dental Fillings

Amalgam is among the best dental dentures resistant to abrasion. As such, it works as perfect for load-bearing molar teeth. However, silver may be observed, which is to be considered when maintaining aesthetics.


Composite fillings are plastic resins and fine glass particles with a tooth colour appearance. They blend perfectly with the natural colour or the real tooth and are very popular due to the visibility factor. Composite bonding saves more of the healthy tooth than amalgam tooth filling does.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown or cap would be recommended for more significantly sized cavities or ones where a dental filling cannot work anymore. The treatment process is tooth contouring. The dental crown is customized and cemented on the tooth. This helps provide the required strength, protection, and functional restoration. A prosthodontist is the best dentist for making dental bridges and crowns.

Root Canal Therapy

When the tooth structure collapses to the pulp, a root canal procedure is conducted to preserve the teeth. This practice provides analgesia and limits the spread of infections. A dental crown is recommended after a root canal. It helps reinforce and protect the treated dental structure. Make sure you hire a qualified dental surgeon to perform this procedure because it has lasting consequences on your pulp nerves when done wrongly. To get a skilled dental surgeon, you may simply Google search “ best dentist near me” or visit the closest dental clinic and enquire about the services they offer. Or you may take a more deliberate and purposeful approach as detailed in our guide for choosing the right dentist near you.

In cases where the tooth was treated but the dark spots remained, one can do teeth whitening at home or seek out a dentist to undertake teeth whitening especially if you want to avoid gradation and discoloration.

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Periodontal Disease

Another common disease is periodontal disease or gum disease. This inflammatory chronic disease affects the supporting structures of the teeth, comprising periodontal and bone. In most cases, it begins as gingivitis, the inflammation of the gums and if not handled right, can progress into other acute conditions.

Risk and Contributing Factors to compromised oral hygiene
  • Poor brushing and the absence of dental floss result in bacterial growth that causes gum swelling.
  • The use of tobacco ranks among the significant risk factors. It compromises the immune system, yellows the teeth and retards the rate of healing.
  • Poor diabetes control may alter the body’s response to gum infections.
  • Gums during pregnancy and menopause are often sensitive to inflammation and infections due to irregular hormonal changes.
Aspects and Stages of Gum Illness

This is the first stage of gum disease. It is a form of gum inflammation characterised by redness, swelling, whiteness and bleeding during brushing and flossing.


Pockets or spaces develop between the gum and natural teeth, attracting plaque and bacteria; gums could inflate and expose the root end. Consequent to the loosening of the ligaments, the tooth begins to come out, and if left unattended, it may result in tooth loss.

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Treatment Options and Professional Interventions

Antibiotics may be topically or orally administered to treat the condition and manage the bacterial infection.

Surgical Interventions

Flap Surgery: Advanced stages may require surgical procedures to decrease the gums’ pockets and restore general gum health.

Bone Grafts: In severe cases, bone graft dental replaces missing bone tissues.

Laser Therapy: The laser technique can also be used simply to remove some tissue that indicates infection and may foster the development of new gums.

Tooth Sensitivity

This is a dental condition where one or more teeth become sensitive to various stimuli that cause pain or discomfort. The sensitivity can be mild to severe and may be temporary or permanent.

Factors Causing Tooth Sensitivity

Gum Recession

Retracted gums expose the vulnerable bases of the teeth to external stimuli. 

Cracked Teeth and Teeth Grinding

Teeth fractures may expose the dentine and lead to hypersensitivity. In addition, grinding or clenching the teeth often wears away the enamel, causing further sensitivity.

Managing tooth sensitivity involves addressing the underlying causes and adopting specific oral care practices:

  • Using a soft brush while brushing the teeth minimizes further enamel damage and irritation to the gums.
  • By reducing intake of acidic foods and beverages, enamel destruction is limited.
  • Professional dental cleaning and additional measures such as regular dental check-ups can aid in detecting and correcting minor problems on time before they get worse.
  • Sealing the exposed roots using appropriate sealants helps create a suitable barrier that protects the roots from external stimuli.
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Tooth Erosion

Tooth erosion is associated only with chemical activities which lead to enamel breakdown. This can result in tooth sensitivity, dental caries and discolouration.

Contributing Factors to Tooth Erosion

Reduced salivary flow caused by the administration of specific medications or affected by various diseases might lead to a higher risk of damage to the structural part of the tooth because of reduced acid neutralization this leads to increasing risk of enamel wear.

Long-term oral care practices such as over-brushing that is so vigorous and hard can result in dental enamel erosion. In addition, the habit of gnashing or clenching the teeth, known as bruxism, results in the destruction of the enamel and only leaves the teeth naked without a protective layer making them susceptible to erosion. Knowing these etiologies and risk factors is essential for implementing preventive measures and ensuring good oral health.

Symptoms and Signs of tooth decay
  • One of the initial indications of enamel loss is increased sensation towards hot, cold, sweet or acidic food.
  • As the enamel decays, the teeth become yellow, dull, and not bright.
  • Sharp teeth edges become clear or look translucent as enamel is worn away.
  • As a result of erosion, the tooth edges are rounded, making the tooth lose its original shape.
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Dental Treatments for Tooth Erosion

The primary dental interventions that can be used to treat tooth erosion include several types of treatment that aim to maintain the enamel integrity and minimize the adverse effects of acid damage. Preventive measures may involve professional fluoride applications that increase the enamel’s strength and durability. Other prophylactic measures include applying sealants to the weak zones to create resistance against the acids that may contribute to erosion.

In severe cases where tooth substance has been compromised, restorative procedures such as using a dental bond or dental veneers may be prescribed, offering practical and stylistic advantages. These procedures are best performed using cosmetic dentistry. For people with bruxism, the dentist prescribes a custom mouthguard to prevent enamel wear while sleeping. This serves as an insulating cushion against the damaging action of grinding or the clenching of teeth.

Prevention is the best cure

Keeping a high standard of oral health is necessary not just for daily functioning but as stated earlier, long term health and wellbeing.  Awareness and understanding of the measures and treatment of common dental problems will help alert you to issues that will help guide your long-term dental health and maintenance routines.  At Paladin Dental, we encourage a holistic view of dentistry concerning these problems. Ultimately, stressing oral hygiene, consulting a professional, and having a keen eye on transmission threats are a good start for good-looking, healthy and happy smiles.

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Why are dentists so honest?

Because they always tell the tooth.

What did the drill say to the moles tooth?

Holey moley

What did the tooth say to the drill?

Got a bit?

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