Smiling is something that just happens naturally when we hear a funny joke, see something amusing or if a funny thought crosses your mind. There are situations when people become self-conscious of their smile and try to hide it or keep their mouth closed when they really want to smile or laugh.
After we lose our baby teeth, we all get 32 adult teeth but as time goes on things can cause us to either lose teeth or teeth can become unattractive. Things that can affect teeth include:
- Cavities / tooth decay
- Spaces and gaps
- Chipped and broken teeth
- Tooth erosion
- Crooked teeth
- Discolored teeth
What Can Cause Cavities and Tooth Decay?
Cavities and tooth decay occur when the hard surface of your tooth becomes permanently damaged and openings or small holes develop. It is important to have a cavity treated right away so it doesn't grow larger and affect the deeper layers of your teeth. There are combinations of factors that can cause tooth decay and cavities such as the bacteria in your mouth, snacking often, drinking soda and sweet beverages and not practicing good oral hygiene on a regular basis.
Cavities and tooth decay can be prevented by:
- Visiting your dentist regularly
- Avoid frequent snacking
- Eating fresh vegetables and fruits and they increase saliva which helps wash away food particles so they don't stick on teeth
- Practicing good oral hygiene
What Causes Gaps in Teeth?
The most common reason for there to be gaps in teeth is genetics. A mismatch between the size of the jaw and teeth.
Can a Dentist Close Gaps Between Teeth?
Yes, depending on the size of the gap they can be restored with tooth-colored composite bonding, dental implants, bridgework, porcelain veneers or crowns.
What Causes Chipped and Cracked Teeth?
Teeth chipping and cracking can be caused by poor oral hygiene, cavities and tooth decay which weaken teeth, biting hard foods and objects, large dental fillings or a root canal can weaken teeth.
How Can You Prevent Chipped or Cracked Teeth?
To prevent teeth from chipping or cracking don't open items with your teeth, don't chew ice, hard candy or other hard items, avoid habits that weaken teeth (see above), practice good oral hygiene and schedule regular dental visits.
What Is Tooth Erosion?
Tooth erosion happens when acid wears away tooth enamel.
What Causes Tooth Erosion?
Drinking too many soft drinks containing phosphoric and citric acids, bacteria in your mouth that thrive on sugar make bacteria that can eat away at tooth enamel and also acid reflux can cause tooth erosion.
How Do I Know If I Have Tooth Erosion?
Your teeth may be sensitive and you can feel sharp pain when eating or drinking anything hot, cold or sweet. Black, brown or white stains may be visible on your teeth. There may be visible pits or holes in your teeth.
How Can I Avoid Tooth Erosion?
Things you can do to help prevent tooth erosion include avoid or limit acidic drinks and but you drink them, use a straw. Chew sugarless gum to increase saliva which helps keep mouth acids under control. Talk to your dentist as they can tell you which foods to avoid and which are better choices.
How Can Tooth Erosion Be Repaired?
There is no way to repair tooth erosion because tooth enamel can't be replicated but depending on the severity of tooth erosion, tooth bonding or tooth crowns can be used to treat it.
What Can Cause Crooked Teeth?
Having naturally perfect teeth is pretty rare but crooked teeth can be caused by genetics (if people in your family have crooked teeth you may have them too), birth defects (cleft palate), thumb sucking, tongue thrusting (When the tongue touches your teeth every time you swallow), facial injury (can impact tooth alignment), poor dental care and other causes (tumor growth, early baby teeth loss etc.)
How Can Crooked Teeth Be Fixed?
A dentist can fix crooked teeth with braces (traditional or clear), veneers or dental bonding.
What Causes Discolored Teeth?
Things that can cause discolored teeth include using tobacco (smoking or chewing), foods and drinks (apples, potatoes, coffee, tea etc.), not practicing good dental hygiene (plaque and stain producing substances can form), medications, aging (as people age the outer enamel lawyer can wear away), environmental (high fluoride levels in water, supplements or applications), chemo and radiation treatments.
How to Reduce Discolored Teeth?
Brush or rinse after consuming coffee, tea, soda, tomato sauce, beets, blueberries, grape or cranberry juice, have teeth professionally cleaned every six months, practice good oral hygiene and drink through a straw.
What Can a Dentist Do to Help Fix Discolored Teeth?
A dentist can perform in office whitening procedures, teeth bonding or dental veneers.
These are just some of the issues that can affect teeth. No matter what your dental issue or concern is, contact your dentist as they have many ways to help that you may not know about.
Arnold Dentistry is always here to help with any dental issue, give us a call today to make an appointment! (813) 689-1529.