Common Dental Problems and Their Treatment Options

Just about everyone has or will encounter dental problems; the two main reasons behind this are genetics and poor oral hygiene. Here are the most common dental conditions and what your dentist might recommend for treatment:

Holes in Your Teeth

Holes in your teeth mostly occur due to poor dental health. However, if your enamel is genetically weak, you might be at high risk for tooth decay, which causes holes in your teeth. Symptoms include pain or discomfort, swelling on your cheek or bad breath.

Treatment for this condition is either filling or root canal. A filling process is done if the hole is not too deep (it has not reached the pulp cavity). It involves drilling your tooth to get decayed parts out and then filling the space left after drilling with a dental filling.

Root canals are performed if your tooth is decayed to such an extent that a hole forms and reaches your pulp cavity—this cavity houses nerves and pulp (blood vessels and connective tissue). During the root canal process, your pulp cavity is emptied, and the space left behind is filled with a dental filling.

Misaligned or Crooked Teeth

These are caused by various reasons, some of which include:

  • Dental diseases like gingivitis
  • Having a small mouth (gums and jawbone) where your teeth cannot fit properly
  • Behavioural causes like tongue thrusting, finger sucking or prolonged use of a bottle and pacifier

The most common treatment for misaligned or crooked teeth is braces. You may come across traditional metal braces, lingual braces, porcelain/ceramic braces, Invisalign, etc. The choice of treatment method depends on the severity of your condition, aesthetics, affordability and personalised recommendations.

Teeth Discolouration

Discoloured teeth can affect your social life, especially if you care about your appearance. Tooth discolouration is caused by staining from food or drinks, genetic disorders and poor oral hygiene.

Treatment for tooth discolouration depends on whether the discolouration is temporary or permanent. This means that your dentist needs to carry out some tests and ask you various questions. If your dentist finds that your discolouration can be eliminated or cleaned (temporary discolouration), they may recommend professional dental cleaning and the use of a teeth whitening product.

If your dentist finds that your discolouration cannot be cleaned (permanent discolouration), they recommend veneers or bondings. Veneers are tooth coverings. Part of the tooth's enamel (the discoloured enamel) is stripped and replaced with a white cover (veneer) that is similar in thickness to the enamel stripped off. Instead of stripping the enamel, bonding involves roughened to form a suitable attachment surface. A white cover (bonding) is then attached to the roughened enamel.

For more insight on your options, contact a local dentist