Information For Our Patients In La Mesa, Spring Valley, El Cajon, & More!
Our team at Hill and Schneidmiller DDS proudly provides patients in La Mesa, Spring Valley, El Cajon, and greater San Diego, CA, with information about common problems seen in general dentistry. We strive to offer a comfortable and relaxing environment with excellent care. We are also committed to educating our patients about dental health. Here are a few common problems dental patients experience and information about prevention and treatment.
Tooth decay is caused by tooth enamel loss that results in cavities. You can easily prevent tooth decay with brushing and flossing to halt the process that leads to cavities:
- Carbohydrate-rich foods such as candy, sugary desserts, sodas or fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth.
- If the deposits are not removed, they bond with bacteria that naturally survive in your mouth, forming plaque and creating a harmful acid.
- The acid damages the mineral structure of your teeth, eating away the enamel and causing cavities.
Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to hot and cold food or beverages. Over time, your teeth lose enamel and develop microscopic cracks, and your gums can recede. These processes expose the interior of the tooth and irritate the nerve endings, resulting in sensitive teeth and pain. Even breathing in cold air can ache if your teeth are extremely sensitive.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or gingivitis, can be prevented with daily brushing and flossing. If the disease develops, it can cause inflammation of your gums, tooth loss and even bone damage. Symptoms of gingivitis include:
- Consistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- Gums that easily bleed
- Red or swollen gums
- Teeth that fall out or need to be removed by a dentist
Foods such as garlic or anchovies cause temporary bad breath. Consistent bad breath, also known as halitosis, is caused by a build-up of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Halitosis also could be a symptom of gum disease or other dental problems. You can prevent halitosis with daily brushing, flossing and reduced snacking between meals.
Aphthous ulcers, or canker sores, are small sores in the mouth with a white or gray base surrounded by a red border. The sores usually last one or two weeks and often reappear. You can help canker sores disappear faster by using antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents. There are different schools of thought as to the source of these sores: viral, autoimmune, food related. If they hinder your ability to eat, chew or swallow, seek attention from a dental or medical professional.
A malocclusion is a bite that does not meet properly. Improper bites have several causes:
- Inherited orthodontic problems
- Missing, crowded or extra teeth
- Jaw misalignment
- Developmental issues such as thumb sucking