What are some issues dentists see in their offices over and over again? Here are the most common (and very avoidable!) dental problems to know about:

1.) Cavities

When plaque builds up on the surface of the teeth and eats away at enamel, it can form a hole in the tooth. Plaque is a sticky substance full of bacteria that feeds on sugar in the foods we eat. It produces acids that break down enamel, forming cavities. Once a cavity is formed, your dentist will have to fill it.

The best way to combat cavities is getting rid of plaque. You can do this by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist at least once a year for a professional cleaning and exam.

2.) Gum disease

Also know as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused when plaque attacks the gums. The early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis, while the advanced stage is periodontitis. Signs of gingivitis include red, swollen gums and gums that bleed easily. If it advances to periodontitis, the gums will start to pull away from the teeth and form spaces that can become infected.

If not treated, this can lead to eventual tooth loose. Smoking, hormonal changes and diabetes can increase your chances of developing gum disease. The good news is that gingivitis can be reversed with regular brushing and flossing.

3.) Enamel erosion

The enamel on your teeth can be worn down by the acids in foods and drinks, and by over-brushing. Signs of erosion include tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and cracks and chips. When your enamel erodes, your teeth are more susceptible to cavities, while tooth sensitivities may be severe and painful.

The best way to prevent enamel loss is to cut out highly acidic food and drinks, brush with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, and drink water throughout the day.

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