7 Common Dental Problems From Missing Regular Cleanings

Numerous dental problems may arise without regular dental visits. Find out the 7 most common dental problems you should be looking for.

Visiting the dentist—it’s something most of us don’t enjoy and tend to procrastinate for as long as possible. Are you overdue for a visit?

If so, don’t wait too long, as regular cleanings from the dentist can help prevent a range of dental problems. Dentists clean and polish your teeth, check for cavities, and keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy.

You may be wondering what dental problems are caused by poor dental care—if so, keep reading to learn the more common dental conditions you may have to deal with if you don’t visit your dentist regularly.

1. Bad Breath

Bad breath—it can be a huge embarrassment on a big date or in a work meeting. Unfortunately, if you’re missing regular dental visits, you may notice bad breath more often than you’d like.

Halitosis, or bad breath, is caused by unwanted bacteria on the throat and tongue. Bad dental habits, gum disease, and plaque build-up can all lead to bad breath.

It can sometimes be hard to tell if your own breath seems off, but if you experience a dry mouth, a white coating on your tongue, or a sour or metallic taste in your mouth, these can be symptoms of halitosis.

If you’re concerned about bad breath, visit your dentist regularly and brush and floss at least twice per day.

2. Tartar and Plaque Build-Up

One of the most commonly seen dental issues is tooth decay, caused by tartar and plaque build-up.

We should all be brushing and flossing daily, but sometimes, even that isn’t enough to remove all the build-up from our teeth. This is especially true for hard-to-reach areas of the mouth, such as the rear molars and space between teeth.

During your dental check up, the dentist or technician can use more powerful tools to completely remove the plaque from your teeth.

Over time, plaque causes cavities and tooth decay, which can be both painful and expensive.

3. Cavities

It’s the news no one wants to hear at the dentist—you need to have a cavity filled. Cavities are damaged areas of your teeth—part of the tooth has eroded or fallen away, leaving a hole in the tooth.

Your dentist will take X-rays and also physically check for cavities each time you visit. With regular visits, a cavity can be caught early and filled before it can get larger.

Cavities left untreated can cause discomfort, infections, tooth loss, and pain when eating or drinking.

In addition to regular dental visits, you can help prevent cavities by avoiding sugary drinks, such as sodas and fruit juices. If you do consume them, try to rinse your mouth out with water afterward.

4. Discolored Teeth

You want to be proud of your beautiful smile—not embarrassed because your teeth are yellowed or discolored.

Teeth lose their pearly white sheen and become discolored due to stains, caused by food, drinks, and smoking cigarettes. As part of the cleaning process, your dentist uses professional-grade cleaning instruments to remove stains and plaque, preventing your teeth from becoming discolored.

You can help prevent your teeth from changing color by limiting the consumption of dark liquids, like tea and coffee. If you haven’t already, quitting smoking is also one of the best ways to keep your teeth looking their best.

The color of our teeth often has a genetic component to it as well, but regular care and maintenance can keep teeth looking their best. If your teeth are stained and damaged and you’re unhappy with how they look, talk to your dentist about veneers, which can improve the look of your teeth and smile.

5. Tooth Infections

Bacteria from food, if not removed, can cause infections to the root of our teeth. Over time, it can damage the root of your tooth and even cause the tooth to become damaged and infected.

When this happens, a root canal is usually needed. This is a complex process that can be costly and sometimes uncomfortable—avoid ever needing one by visiting your dentist regularly.

If an infected tooth is not treated, it may eventually need to be removed altogether.

6. Gum Disease

Gum disease is something you want to avoid—if you have it, this means your gums are inflamed, red, and you’re at higher risk for heart disease.

Over time, plaque, bacteria, and poor brushing habits cause gums to be inflamed. If you notice bleeding gums when brushing or flossing, this may be a sign of gum disease.

It can be treated if caught early, but over time, it weakens your teeth, leading to tooth loss. The good news is that regular dental check-ups and good at-home dental habits can reverse the impacts of gum disease.

7. Cracked or Broken Teeth

A more severe dental problem caused by missing regular cleanings is cracked or broken teeth. While cracked teeth can be caused by injuries or eating hard foods, they can also be caused by old fillings that need to be replaced.

Fillings, especially large ones, can weaken the tooth. Fillings need to be checked regularly, as they can sometimes fall out or become damaged.

Preventive medicine is one of the best ways to make sure your fillings are in good condition and your teeth stay healthy.

If you have a cracked or damaged tooth, you may feel pain when eating, sensitivity to hot and cold foods, or swollen and sore gums near the tooth.

Prevent These Common Dental Problems with Regular Cleanings

Don’t take risks when it comes to your oral health. Avoid these common dental problems by visiting your dentist every six months for a check-up and cleaning.

If you do have any concerns or pains when it comes to your teeth, let your dentist know right away. Over time, as you start to develop better dental habits, your teeth will thank you!

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