Here are 11 of the most common dental problems

People generally avoid the dentist unless they are experiencing a problem or have insurance they are seeking to use.  For many, they have previous bad experience –  feel embarrassed about the state of their mouth. Others simply don’t think they have the time or do not want to fit it into their budget.

Seeing a dentist regular six-monthly or yearly checkup can mean the difference between seeing the dentist once or twice a year, or needing weeks and months of intense, costly treatment to restore what was neglected for a period of time.

Below are the common reasons most people seek treatment from a dentist. Dental disease is a silent disease and most people do not know they have it. Especially cavities and gum disease that is why I intentionally put them low in the list of common problems, even though they should be on the top of the list they are not the reasons most people go to the dentist. Unless you are aware of and know the importance of prevention. 


The # 1 reason people make and keep their dental appointments!

A Toothache is a very common problem because, yet it’s a symptom of other dental issues. There are many reasons your teeth might hurt. We won’t get into that here.

It’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible if you have pain that is severe or has lasted longer than 1-2 days or wakes you up. By the time a tooth hurts, whatever is causing it has usually been in place for quite a while, and treatment should begin ASAP. Or you may be making a decision to have a root canal to save the tooth or pull the tooth to get rid of the infection.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt in your mouth, and the most likely first to get removed from a healthy adult mouth because you can not keep them clean or they are the cause of problems. For most people, there’s simply not enough room in the jaw since the agricultural revolution, and so they become impacted or are partially erupted. They need to be extracted just like any other tooth that is causing a problem.

It’s important to note that not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth out — many people have enough room in their mouths for them. Interestingly,  some people like both my sister and myself never even develop wisdom teeth in the first place! Does that mean we have no wisdom? 🙂

Some wisdom teeth are  “impacted” that is when it can’t erupt through the gum properly. This can happen because the tooth is lying sideways butting up against another tooth under the gum line, in the jawbone. You would need X-rays to see this.

It can lead to an abscess if not properly treated. Or cause the tooth in front of it to decay. It’s best to have them extracted as soon as possible. As young as possible. While many people hate the thought of tooth extractions, today it’s a fairly quick and painless process for most.

Discolored Teeth

This is one of the least painful problems for visiting the dentist from a health perspective, but the most common concern for most people. Stained, yellowing discolored teeth lead to teeth whitening which is one of the most sought-after cosmetic dental treatments in the world.

There are many ways to whiten teeth. Toothpaste and mouthwashes will only remove the outer surface layer of stain in a tooth. Over the counter kits and toothpaste will whiten your teeth to a certain point.

In-chair teeth whitening in a dental clinic gives you the fastest, best results, whitening your teeth by 5-7 shades in just 1-2 hours.

Whitening toothpaste will keep the surface stains off from coffee, red wine, smoking, and more.

Tooth Sensitivity

Many things can cause tooth sensitivity. The most common reason for the sensitivity is the recession of the gums or the enamel has worn away enough to expose the sensitive dentin below, sometimes a sensitivity toothpaste can help. If it is a chipped or cracked tooth your dentist will help you locate the exact cause, and solution, to your particular problem. 

Chipped Tooth

Teeth are the only part of the body that do not heal themselves when broken. If you have chipped a tooth see your dentist as soon as possible before it gets worse. A chipped front tooth, most people seek treatment immediately. However,  if it is a back tooth, I have seen people wait years until it hurts or becomes a problem.  Luckily a chipped tooth can usually be repaired easily if you don’t wait until it is a problem.

If your tooth has become chipped, treat it like any other health emergency and get to a dentist as soon as you can. The sooner the tooth is fixed the less damage will be done and the quicker you can worry about something else other than your teeth.

Cracked Teeth

Sometimes a crack in a tooth is so small that you won’t even notice it’s there. It may bother you when you chew occasionally. You might not be sure where it is coming from.  Once in a while or the first thing they experience is a toothache, and the crack is not even visible on an x-ray.

Sometimes the crack is very obvious and immediately noticeable.

Whatever the case, a dental crown is in your future and is the best way to help restore a cracked tooth. A dental crown is like a helmet that sits over your tooth to protect it from further damage. Porcelain crowns look remarkably just like your tooth, are stain-resistant, and long-lasting.

Crooked Teeth / Crowded Teeth

Now more than ever we are seeing crooked crowded teeth. Adult teeth that don’t erupt properly can become crowded, twisted, turned, and overlapping. Sometimes this is because there isn’t enough room in the jaw for all of the teeth to fit properly, or there could be a developmental problem from childhood. Orthodontics, sometimes combined with other treatments will help crowded teeth from causing breathing issues if we catch them early enough.

Even teeth that have plenty of jaw space to grow in can come out wonky, resulting in crooked teeth. Today, options like Invisalign mean people can straighten their teeth without worrying about braces and wires in their mouths ever again!

I do not recommend doing it yourself options for treatment. Crooked, crowded teeth, mouth breathing airway issues are all of the concerns with the method of treatments recommended. This DIY may be cheaper in the short term, but if you have other issues like mouth breathing or tongue thrusting if you do not address those first your orthodontic treatment will relapse causing you to need re-treatment. You do not want to have to go through it twice. This is another reason to seek treatment from a dentist.

Tooth Decay

Cavities are the # 1 childhood disease. Tooth decay is one of the most common medical conditions for our children, let alone a dental concern. Bacteria and plaque feed on the food you eat poop an acid and weaken the enamel of your teeth causing decay.  When it’s eaten away enough tooth structure, a cavity is formed. That cavity will then need to be filled in order to prevent it from getting bigger to the pio0nt the tooth needs a dreaded root canal or worse you lose the tooth.

Tooth decay and cavities are often thought of as childhood problems, but they can strike anyone, any time. Brushing, flossing your teeth, and controlling the pH of your mouth is your best defense.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, or gingivitis, is also an incredibly common health concern. One out of two people has gingivitis bleeding gums. Most adults either have had gum disease once in their life or have it now and do not even know it. Common signs and symptoms of gum disease are reddening, swelling, tenderness, and bleeding of the gums.

Left untreated, gum disease can develop into more serious dental problems that are costly, uncomfortable to handle, treat and contribute to other health concerns and diseases in the body. Brushing, flossing, waterpik, and regular maintenance can not only prevent gum disease it can also help treat mild cases. Bad Breath

Bad Breath

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common concern for many people. Bad breath can be from lack of home care, foods you eat or medical conditions. Persistent bad breath is something to investigate the cause of the problem. Often it’s a problem in the mouth, such as gingivitis you are missing an area you don’t know about or have an infection in the gum, teeth, or bone. Sometimes it’s a problem in the digestive tract, medications you are taking you to need to visit a doctor or specialist to not only treat the symptom.

Teeth Grinding

Many people who grind their teeth are another thing most don’t even realize they’re doing. It’s either a reflexive action when stressed or something they do when they sleep. Grinding can lead to teeth becoming worn down, chipped, or even cracked.

Because there are many possible causes — and treatments — of teeth grinding, it’s important to visit the dentist for a full assessment. They’ll help to find why and when you’re grinding your teeth, and how to give you the best options to stop it. Sometimes you might need an oral appliance, guard, or exercises you can do,  you may simply just need to be aware and work on stress management or eliminating the cause.

Summing it up

Whatever dental issue you are having, Just know it is better to get it checked out sooner rather than later. Teeth generally do not heal themselves. Unless we are aware of and become our own healthcare advocate, healing our mouth can be costly and contribute to other illnesses in our bodies.

This has been the top 11 most common reasons people go to a dentist. Your mouth is a window into your body. We put things in our mouth all day long that either contributes to a healthy body or not.

What we put in our mouths and how we care for your mouths is directly related to how we feel and how healthy we will be in the future. Our mouth is an early warning system, there are signs and symptoms that show up in our mouths first before they present in our body. It is a crystal ball to what I might expect in our future. Are you listening, asking questions, and taking care of one of the most important parts of the body? Or do you just take it for granted and spend less than four minutes a day caring for it?

Like anything in life, you get out of it what you put into it. It is time to take notice of our mouths as an integral part of our health and treat it accordingly.