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How to Identify Common Dental Issues

kids dental exam

Bright white teeth and fresh breath are a winning combination. Having both is often a sign of a healthier lifestyle and boosts your overall confidence and comfort. To get there, you need to visit the dentist regularly and have a solid routine for cleaning and caring for your teeth and gums. Too often, though, we allow ourselves to relax, to cheat a bit when it comes to our dental hygiene, and over time it can lead to some severe issues.


So if you are one of those people who could use a bit of a push in the right direction and are wondering, “what are the warning signs that I’m developing dental issues,” this is the place for you! Early detection is key, so read along and let’s work together towards a healthier, better you!

Tooth Decay – When we talk about tooth decay, we’re talking about cavities. When bacteria form a film on the surface of your teeth, also known as plaque, the bacteria produce acids from the sugars in your food and eat away at your tooth enamel. Once through the enamel, the acid begins to work on the softer layer beneath, known as the dentin layer. Signs that you are experiencing tooth decay are:

  • Bad breath
  • Black or brown spots on your teeth
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Sharp pain when eating.

Gum Disease – Gum disease is most often caused by plaque build-up, leading to a bacterial infection known as Gingivitis. Gingivitis can often be painless, so you must see a dentist regularly as it can lead to Periodontitis. This is where pockets form in your gums and become infected. Damaging the bone and tissue that support your teeth. Signs you’ve got Gingivitis, or the further developed Periodontitis are:

  • Red swollen gums that bleed easily
  • Shrinking or receding gum line
  • Loss of teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Even a change in your bite pattern

Halitosis or Bad Breath – This is one of the most common dental issues and can be rather stressful, especially in public situations. Halitosis can be caused by the foods you eat, acid reflux, medication, dry mouth, and poor dental hygiene. Because there are so many causes, you must work with your dentist to determine what is causing the issue. The symptoms are straightforward:

  • Consistently bad breath that can get worst depending on the food you’ve eaten.

Root Infection – The roots of your teeth can become infected and swollen due to bacteria. Often due to untreated cavities and cracks in the teeth. Root infections can quickly become abscesses and should not be taken lightly. Treatment for a root infection is, you guessed it, a root canal. Even though movies and t.v. have made root canals out to be the bad guy, it is actually a very safe procedure and mostly painless. Signs that you might have a root infection include:

  • A continual/persistent throbbing toothache
  • Chewing and biting is painful
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages
  • In some instances, your face can become swollen in the area of the infection


From all of us at Compassionate Dental, make sure to brush regularly and see the dentist at least twice per year for cleanings and checkups. Early detection and prevention are the most cost-effective and pain-free ways of caring for your dental health. Like we always say, “Oral Health leads to Overall Health!”