Our mouths are complex environments, and there’s a lot that can go wrong. From teething in babies to canker sores in kids and bleeding gums in adults, there’s a whole lot to keep on top of. As they say, prevention is better than the cure, so here are some common causes of these problems, and what you can do about them once they crop up in you or your kids.
If there is blood in your toothpaste when you clean your teeth, you might have something called gum disease. It starts as bleeding gums, but it can lead to bad breath, tooth loss, and even bone damage. It starts because the bacteria on your teeth is not properly cleaned away, so the best prevention is daily brushing and flossing, and regular trips to the dentist.
If cold or hot foods make you wince as they touch your teeth, you could be suffering from sensitive teeth. This is usually caused by the wearing down of your tooth enamel, so it’s more likely to occur in adults than children. The wearing down exposes the interior of the tooth and all its complex nerve endings, which can get a bit of a shock with a change of temperature, a bit like someone putting an ice cube down the back of your shirt. It’s easiest to prevent this by not chewing pens, and being careful with cutlery during mealtimes, but if you already suffer, some toothpastes are designed to lessen the effect of sensitive teeth.
Canker sores, or oral ulcers, are the painful little sores that we all get in our mouths from time to time. Although they don’t tend to last more than a week or so, the discomfort during that time is enough to drive anyone a bit mad. Topical gels and antibacterial mouthwashes are the best way to treat these and alleviate discomfort.
If you’ve ever had a tooth abscess, you’ll know that the pain can be almost indescribable. Caused by swelling near the tooth’s root, it can be caused by all sorts of things, from a bacterial infection to poor dental hygiene, or even a weakened immune system. Many people find that they have to visit their dentist for care, although it is possible to treat using natural remedies. Keeping your teeth clean and flossing regularly is the best way to avoid one in the first place, though.
The dreaded tooth decay can be really uncomfortable and even lead to tooth loss in adults and children. Caused by a poor diet (lots of starches and sugars) and an inadequate dental hygiene routine, the only prevention is by eating well and flossing and brushing regularly. When you have a cavity, the only treatment is a filling administered by your dentist, so they’re definitely best avoided.
There are all problems that face our teeth and those of our children, although almost all can be avoided by a good diet, no sugary soda, and regular brushing and flossing.