10 Scary Dental Problems

dental_careUnlike the lines on a map that are drawn to define the limits of cities, states or countries, our body makes no such distinctions between its various parts. It’s important to view dental care as an integral part of your health maintenance strategy, not as a frivolous “add-on.”

The price of ignoring concerns with your teeth and gums can be steep. Here are 10 frightening dental conditions that can turn your life into a horror movie if you don’t seek dental care promptly.

  1. Oral Cancer. More than 110 mouth cancer cases are diagnosed per day in the United States. Ask your dentist about performing an oral cancer exam at your next appointment.
  2. Sensitive or painful teeth. There are many possible causes for tooth pain. Some, like infections, can become extremely serious if left untreated.
  3. Periodontitis. An advanced form of gum disease that can destroy bone and soft tissue. Surgery may be necessary to heal the gums.
  4. Loose-fitting dentures. Loose dentures can rub the surfaces of the mouth, causing pain and promoting digestive problems (because it becomes more difficult to chew food properly).
  5. Oral Thrush.This is a fungal infection of the mouth, common among denture wearers and those with compromised immune systems.
  6. Discolored Teeth. A tooth that appears pink or red may have suffered trauma and blood may have leaked into the dentin layer underneath the tooth’s enamel. A grey or black tooth may have suffered serious nerve damage.
  7. Broken teeth. Cracked or fractured teeth can leave the mouth vulnerable to infections, and can cause problems with chewing and speaking.
  8. Losing a dental bridge’s anchor tooth. A dental bridge is only as strong as the natural teeth on either side that anchor it. Anchor teeth can be weakened or destroyed by tooth decay and put the entire bridge at risk.
  9. Worn-down teeth.Stress can cause teeth-grinding (bruxism), which can lead to receding or inflamed gums, as well as face pain and other issues throughout the body.
  10. Jaw locking in place. This terrifying situation can be a symptom of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. The jaw may lock wide open, or it may not open fully at all.

Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist practicing in central Phoenix, says, “Dental care is medical care. You must plan for dental health care services, and invest in them, so you can avoid scary problems like these later!”

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