Top 4 Common Dental Problems and How You Can Fix Them

Thursday March 20, 2014 by
Melissa Brown, DDS

We all want a healthy mouth and smile not only for ourselves but to remain presentable to others. Common dental problems can be embarrassing, expensive, and at times painful to fix. This post will go through the most common dental issues and how you can correct them or prevent them from starting.

Bad Breath

The main cause of bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis, is the tongue. Bacteria can accumulate in layers and result in bad breath. Dry mouth, sickness (accumulation of mucus and phlegm in the nasal passage), and certain foods, such as onions and garlic, can also cause foul breath.

Using mouthwashes and keeping hydrated will all aide in better breath along with proper oral hygiene. Tongue scraping can also help with the build up of bacteria on the tongue

Gum Disease

Gum Disease is typically due to bad oral hygiene and genetics. Symptoms can include bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, loose teeth, and tooth sensitivity. A more severe case of gum disease is Periodontitis, which can put you at risk for a heart attack or stroke. The bacteria can be inhaled through your lungs or blood stream and eventually affect the heart and lungs.

Diligent at-home dental care is essential to keep this at bay. However, if extra dental care is needed a deep cleaning or scraping can be done as well as an antibiotic prescription to ward off bacteria. There are also mouthwashes and gels to help with targeting hard to reach bacteria.

Teeth Discoloration

Your choices of food and beverage have a lot to do with tooth discoloration. Red wine, coffee, and smoking are all culprits of causing tooth discoloration. With the exception of smoking, these should all be limited to occasional indulgences to keep teeth their whitest.

Thankfully there are many over the counter options to keep your smile looking healthy if the signs of discoloration have already begun. There are whitening toothpastes, whitening strips and products such as Go Smile which all can be used at home. Laser whitening and other professional methods are recommended for stronger, more long-term results.


Cavities are another problem caused by bacteria left in our mouth. The bacteria feed on the remnants of sugar and yeast and will afterwards secret an acid waste within our mouth. This acid then dissolves our tooth enamel and can then lodge deeper into our gums and crevices.

The problem can be fixed with crowns, fillings, or if severe enough, a root canal. However, to keep these harmful bacteria at bay keeping up with good oral hygiene is a must. That means regular check ups with the dentist and at least twice daily brushing and flossing.

The good news is the educating yourself about these common dental problems can help in prevention as well. Eating properly and maintaining good oral hygiene will almost always help to ward off these problems naturally unless genetics play a part. Again, check ups are essential because your dentist may be able to spot trouble before it turns into a serious problem.