Common Problems

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Your oral health is a mirror to your overall well-being. While we often prioritize skincare or general health, our teeth and gums play a pivotal role in ensuring we lead a healthy life. At Altoona Smiles, we’re dedicated to raising awareness about common problems for your oral care, emphasizing early detection and preventive care.

Why It’s Important to Be Aware of Common Problems for Your Teeth:

Being cognizant of typical dental issues is not just about preserving that winning smile; it has deeper health implications:

  • Early Detection: Spotting dental problems early can prevent prolonged discomfort and reduce the need for complex treatments.
  • Financial Savings: Addressing dental concerns promptly can be cost-effective in the long run, saving you from more expensive corrective procedures.
  • Overall Health: Dental health is intertwined with general health. Issues like gum disease can be linked to heart conditions, diabetes, and more.
  • Quality of Life: From enjoying your favorite foods to engaging in social interactions with confidence, good dental health elevates your quality of life.
An illustration of a woman holding her cheek in pain to a common problem called Tooth Decay

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also known as caries or cavities, is preventable. Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices, leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth and form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth and eat away at tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.

An illustration of the common problems of Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive Teeth

Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold foods and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Simply breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth.

An example of Gum Disease

Gum Disease

Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage, and common indicators are consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. Gums in the early stage of disease, known as gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided through daily brushing and flossing.

An example of man speaking with Bad Breath (Halitosis) a common problem for people

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Daily brushing and flossing helps to prevent the build-up of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods, such as garlic or anchovies, may create temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem.

A person showing their Canker Sore, another common problem

Canker Sores

Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. They have a white or gray base surrounded by a red border. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents.

An illustration on braces on teeth

Orthodontic Problems

A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types of improper bites may be acquired. Common causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth, misaligned jaws, injuries/trauma or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking.

Best Oral Care Practices:

Maintaining optimal oral health requires more than just occasional brushing:

  • Brush Regularly: Use a fluoride toothpaste and brush twice daily, ensuring every tooth surface is cleaned.
  • Floss Daily: Regular flossing can prevent plaque buildup, especially between teeth and below the gumline.
  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Visiting your doctor at Altoona Smiles every six months can ensure any budding issues are nipped in the bud.
  • Balanced Diet: Consume a diet low in sugary foods and drinks. Incorporate more calcium-rich foods for stronger teeth.
  • Avoid Tobacco: Besides staining teeth, tobacco products can lead to gum disease and oral cancer.


With consistent attention and care, the majority of common dental problems can be prevented. Knowledge is the first step in this endeavor. Equipping yourself with the right information and adopting diligent oral hygiene practices ensures that you’re not just safeguarding your oral health but enhancing your overall life quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are some of the most common dental problems?

A: Some prevalent dental issues include cavities, gum disease, tooth sensitivity, oral cancer, and tooth erosion.

Q: How often should I visit Altoona Smiles for a check-up?

A: It’s advisable to see your doctor at Altoona Smiles every six months for a routine check-up and professional cleaning.

Q: Are sugary foods and drinks the primary cause of cavities?

A: While sugary foods and beverages contribute significantly to cavity formation, factors like oral hygiene practices, fluoride exposure, and genetic predisposition also play roles.

Q: Can common dental problems lead to other health issues?

A: Yes, poor dental health, especially gum diseases, can be linked to conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even premature births.

Q: What should I do if I experience sudden tooth pain or sensitivity?

A: If you encounter sudden discomfort or sensitivity, it’s crucial to consult with the Altoona Team promptly to determine the cause and get appropriate treatment.

Every smile has a story, let’s make yours a healthy one!

Whether it’s seeking guidance on the best oral care regimen or addressing specific dental concerns, the dedicated doctors at Altoona Smiles are here to assist. Reach out to us at 515-200-1299 or request an appointment online to embark on a journey towards impeccable oral health.