man with tooth painYou’re supposed to visit the dentist twice a year – but that’s only if nothing’s wrong. What if you have a toothache or a strange sore in your mouth between six-month checkups? Learning about common dental problems and oral diseases can help you determine when you or a loved one need to see a dentist.

At TLC Dental Center, Dr. Julie Kardon provides excellent preventative, restorative, and cosmetic services to families in and around Cherry Hill, NJ. If you have been avoiding the dentist because of fear or anxiety, she also offers sedation dentistry to ensure a stress-free, comfortable experience.

Here are the most common dental and oral diseases she treats:

1.      Tooth Decay

The most frequently occurring dental disease is tooth decay, also known as cavities or dental caries. When starches, including sugar, are left on your teeth, the bacteria in your mouth feed off the starch and emit harmful acids. These acids will wear away the enamel on your teeth, and eventually, cavities form.

Cavities are usually treated with fillings or dental crowns. However, if the decayed tooth becomes severely infected, a root canal may be necessary.

2.      Gingivitis

Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease. Though gingivitis may present no symptoms, some patients experience:

  • Swelling gums
  • Red or otherwise discolored gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Pus between the gums and teeth
  • Sores on the gums or cheeks
  • Constant bad breath
  • Shifting teeth

When left untreated, this infection will likely escalate into periodontitis, in which case you’ll face a high risk of tooth loss, jawbone deterioration, and a host of other health issues.

If your dentist spots the early signs of gum disease, he or she can stop further damage from occurring.

3.      Sensitive Teeth

If drinking hot coffee or iced water makes you wince with tooth pain, you may have developed sensitive teeth, also called “dentin hypersensitivity”. Most often, the condition is caused by thin tooth enamel, which can be hereditary. Sodas, citrus fruits, and other acidic foods contribute to enamel erosion. Eating a lot of sugary foods can also lead to enamel erosion.

Applying a fluoride gel to teeth at your dental appointment will help draw enamel-strengthening minerals into your teeth. In some cases, a crown, inlay, or dental bonding may be recommended. Dr. Kardon will determine the cause of your sensitive teeth and treat the problem accordingly. She may also suggest switching to a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth, like this one.

4.      Oral Cancer

The Oral Cancer Foundation predicts that nearly 53 thousand Americans will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year. A few of the most common symptoms include:

  • A mouth sore that doesn’t heal
  • Constant mouth pain
  • A lump or growth in the cheek
  • Loose teeth
  • Difficulty swallowing

Oral cancer is most often identified by a dentist, not a patient. Dr. Kardon looks for signs of oral cancer during checkups. If you haven’t had your dental exam and cleaning recently, contact TLC Dental Center today.

Prevent Oral Diseases

Dental and oral diseases are no joke. Not only do these issues cause problems in your mouth, but they can also have major implications on the rest of your body. You can fight dental issues and oral diseases at home by establishing a healthy oral care routine. This includes:

  • Brushing twice a day
  • Flossing once a day
  • Using a fluoride or antibacterial mouthwash
  • Using a tongue scraper

Visit Your Cherry Hill Dentist Today

The best thing you can do for your oral health is to visit your dentist twice a year, so she can identify potential problems before they advance. Our team at TLC Dental center offers family-friendly, top-notch care to patients of all ages. Contact us today to schedule your regular dental cleaning and exam.