When you visit your dentist for preventive dental cleanings, you are taking an important step to prevent dental problems. In fact, the risk associated with two of the most common dental problems, tooth decay and gum disease, can be significantly decreased by regular brushing, flossing, and teeth cleanings. However, there are various dental problems besides tooth decay and gum disease that may call for a dental visit. These include:
Teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism, is a destructive habit that can cause damage to the teeth and jaw. It is an unconscious habit brought on by stress that occurs most often while sleeping. Over time, bruxism wears down the enamel and can cause chips or cracks. It also places additional strain on the jaw joint and can contribute to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
A dark tooth is an indication of trauma or pulp infection, depending on the color. When a tooth undergoes trauma, it can turn a pink color. As the tooth heals, this pink color should fade and the normal coloring should return. In these cases, your dentist will likely monitor the tooth. When a tooth is greyish or black in color, this indicates that the dental pulp is either infected or dead. Once the dental pulp has been compromised by infection, a root canal will need to be removed to remove the infection and restore the tooth.
Chipped or Cracked Tooth
Another somewhat common dental problem are teeth that become chipped or cracked. In most cases, this is due to a large amount of force applied to a single tooth. Both types of damage can be caused by numerous factors, but a common cause are sports related accidents. Teeth can also chip or crack as a result of biting down on hard foods, as well as regular teeth grinding or clenching. To fix a chipped or cracked tooth, there are various restorative treatments your dentist may recommend depending on the type and severity of the damage, as well as the location in the mouth.
This is a fungal infection characterized by a white, yeasty film that spreads throughout the soft tissues of the mouth. In most cases, oral thrush is not very common in the general population. However, it is common in denture wearers, as well as people who have compromised immune systems.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth are a somewhat common dental issue that occurs when the wisdom teeth erupt in early adulthood. In our evolutionary past, wisdom teeth served an important purpose, however they are no longer needed. Since the human skull has evolved to a smaller size, wisdom teeth are not always able to erupt properly. Instead, they become stuck in the jawbone below the gum line. When wisdom teeth are entirely underneath the gum line, this is known as a complete impaction. When part of the wisdom teeth have erupted, this is known as a partial impaction. Both types of impactions cause various complications, so impacted wisdom teeth are usually extracted.
Dr. Quartano is a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry. He is also an active member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Dental Association, Northlake Dental Association, and has attained D.O.C.S. certification. Dr. Quartano has served as Committee Chair for the LDA Council on New Dentist since 2011. Dr. Q is also a member of Spear Faculty Club which limits its membership to just 1000 dentist worldwide. Since graduating from dental school Dr. Quartano has completed over 700 hours of post doctorate education in Implants, Oral surgery, Cosmetic dentistry, Endodontics, Invisalign, and Advanced Restorative techniques. Dr. Quartano has also completed Foundational and Core workshops at the Spear Center for Advanced Dental Education.