Common Problems

Tooth Decay

Caries, or tooth decay, is a preventable disease. Especially if left untreated, dental caries may negatively impact your quality of life.

When your teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids may form that begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth and form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth, with tooth decay resulting.

Sensitive Teeth

Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Just breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, or gingivitis, can cause inflammation, bleedings gums, or generalized irritation in the mouth. If left untreated, periodontal disease may result, leading to potential tooth loss and bone damage. Gingivitis begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Gums in the early stage of disease can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed. Gingivitis is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing and by maintaining regular dental hygiene visits. One indicator of gum disease is consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.

For more information please visit our Periodontics page.

Canker Sores

Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents. The canker sore has a white or gray base surrounded by a red border. If these sores persist for more than two weeks please contact us to schedule an appointment.

Orthodontic Problems

A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types may be acquired. Some causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period of time, may cause malocclusions.