When it comes to the list of your favorite things to do, talk about your dental health probably isn’t very high up there. Dental health challenges and cosmetic issues can leave you feeling self-conscious, insecure, and uncertain about learning how to address your dental problems.

For others, avoidance of the dentist can come from poor experiences as a child — dental practices of 30 or 40 years ago were not always as gentle or patient-focused as they are now — or from lots of other places. However, when it comes to addressing your own health and wellbeing, it is important to reach out to a professional who can help.

At Century Dental in Jackson and Seaview Dental in Eatontown, we work with people ranging from folks who have never had a cavity to those who are in for a root canal and crown almost every single year. Our goal is always the same: to provide the most thorough, effective, and professional dental care to each and every person who walks through our doors.

In today’s blog, we want to share three of the most common dental problems that we see our patients dealing with and discuss, in general terms, what kinds of treatments are most often used. As with all things dental care related, remember that good home care habits and prevention are more important than anything else.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a bacterial infection caused by an accumulation of plaque on your teeth and gums. The bacteria in the plaque create an acid that eats away at the soft tissue of the gums and the ligaments that hold your teeth in place. This infection can cause redness, swelling, pain, bleeding, and in time, even the loosening or loss of teeth.

Thankfully, when caught in the early stages known as gingivitis, gum disease can usually be addressed without serious concerns about permanent damage having been done to your teeth and gums. This treatment usually involves a prolonged cleaning session where the plaque is removed from the gumline combined with a prescribed change in prevention care.

However, by the time that gum disease has been allowed to develop into periodontitis, rectifying the problem becomes more challenging and can rarely reverse much of the damage that has been done. In the deeper stages of gum disease, treatments become varied depending on the progression of the infections and the level of gum and bone loss.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, just like gingivitis and gum disease, is largely caused by an accumulation of plaque on the teeth that results in a bacterial imbalance on the tooth. The acid-creating bacteria in plaque wears away the enamel of the tooth, and eventually the actual structure of the tooth itself, leaving a hole in your tooth. 

Without proper care, cleaning, and filling, this hole can provide a conduit for further bacterial spread into the root of the tooth, leading to a root canal or possible loss of the tooth. However, most tooth decay can be fairly well managed with a combination of regular cleaning and adjustments — read: improvements — to your teeth and gum cleaning practices.

In the case that a hole, or cavity, in your tooth has already been formed, you’ll need to see a dentist and have the tooth cleaned and filled to prevent further damage.

Root Infections

Root infections in your tooth are caused by — you guessed it — bacteria caused by plaque build-up. Once a cavity has been worn in your tooth, or possibly because your tooth was cracked or severely damaged some other way, unhealthy bacteria can seep into the pulpy center and deep root of the tooth. This results in a painful and potentially dangerous infection, especially if left unchecked.

In the case of a root infection, there is little that can be done to reverse the damage. Instead, you’ll need to see your dentist for a root canal. Contrary to popular belief, this procedure although longer than many other regular dental procedures, is not particularly painful. A sore jaw and tooth after the procedure and while healing are the most common complaints.

During a root canal, your dentist will clean out your tooth to remove debris and bacteria before filling the tooth to re-strengthen it and to prevent another infection. In some severe cases, the tooth can be too far rotted from the inside to be salvaged and may need to be removed.

Get Help From The Experienced Dentists at Century Dental Today

To start improving your dental health and treating any conditions you may be fighting, schedule an appointment with the dentists at Jersey Shore Dentists at Century Dental in Jackson, Seaview Dental in Eatontown, or Seaview Dental Stafford in Manahawkin today.