The 15 Most Common Dental Problems

There are many reasons why you may need to visit us at Best Image Dental in Santa Clarita, California.

Here are 15 of the most common dental problems you might face.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is one of the most common medical conditions, let alone dental conditions. Bacteria eating at the enamel of your teeth cause decay. When it’s eaten away enough, a cavity is formed. This cavity needs to be filled in order to prevent the problem from worsening.

Tooth decay and cavities are often thought of as childhood problems, but they can strike anyone, any time. Brushing and flossing your teeth is your best defense.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, or gingivitis, is also an incredibly common health concern. Most adults either have had gum disease once in their life, or have it now. Common signs and symptoms of gum disease are reddening, swelling, tenderness, and bleeding of the gums.

Left untreated, gum disease can develop into more serious dental problems which are costly — and often uncomfortable — to handle. Brushing and flossing can not only prevent gum disease but also help treat mild cases.


Toothache is a very common problem because it’s a symptom of many other dental concerns. From tooth decay to severe infections, there are many reasons your teeth might hurt.

It’s important to see a dentist as quickly as possible if the pain is severe, or has lasted longer than 1-2 days. By the time a tooth hurts, whatever is causing it has usually been in place for quite a while, and treatment should begin ASAP.

Discolored Teeth

This is one of the least worrying problems from a health perspective, but a very common concern for many. Stained, yellowing discolored teeth lead to teeth whitening being one of the most common cosmetic dental treatments in the world.

There are many ways to whiten teeth. Toothpaste and mouthwashes will only remove surface layers. Over the counter kits at a pharmacy will whiten your teeth more, but results take time and aren’t terribly dramatic.

In-chair teeth whitening in a dental clinic gives you the fastest, best results, whitening your teeth by 5-7 shades in just 1-2 hours.

Chipped Tooth

A dentist should see a chipped tooth immediately. People young and old playing sports, or even just those who get into unlucky accidents, often experience a chipped front tooth. Luckily these can be quickly repaired using dental veneers.

If your tooth has become chipped, treat it like any other health emergency and get to a dentist as soon as you can. The sooner the tooth is restored, the less damage will be done and the quicker you can heal.

Cracked Teeth

Sometimes a crack in a tooth is so fine that a person won’t even notice it’s there. Toothache is the first thing they experience, and the crack is only visible after an x-ray.

Of course, sometimes the crack is very obvious and immediately noticeable.

Whatever the case, dental crowns are the best way to help restore a cracked tooth. A dental crown is like a helmet that sits over your tooth to restore the biting surface and protect it from further damage. Porcelain crowns look remarkably realistic, are stain-resistant, and long-lasting.

Impacted Teeth

A tooth is “impacted” when it can’t erupt through the gum properly. This can happen because the tooth is butting up against another tooth, the jawbone, or has tipped sideways under the gum line.

Impacted teeth can cause severe toothache and lead to abscesses if not properly treated. It’s best to have them extracted as soon as possible. While many people hate the thought of tooth extractions, today it’s a fairly quick and painless process.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to appear, and the most likely to cause problems. For most people, there’s simply not enough room in the jaw for the extra set of teeth, and so they become impacted. They need to be extracted just like any other impacted tooth.

It’s important to note that not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth out — many people have plenty of room in their jaw for them. Interestingly, however, some people never even develop wisdom teeth in the first place!

Tooth Sensitivity

Get a sharp pain when eating cold foods? That’s tooth sensitivity. The most common reason is the enamel has worn away enough to expose the sensitive dentin below, but there can be many causes. Your dentist will help you find the exact cause, and solution, to your particular problem.

Crowded Teeth

Adult teeth that don’t erupt properly can become crowded — bunched up and overlapping. Sometimes this is because there isn’t enough room in the jaw to properly fit all of the teeth, or there could be a developmental problem from childhood. Orthodontics, sometimes combined with a few carefully selected extractions, is the typical treatment for crowded teeth.

Crooked Teeth

Even teeth that have plenty of jaw space to grow in can come out wonky, resulting in crooked teeth. This is very common in teenagers, as their adult teeth are just starting to appear properly. Orthodontics is the tool of choice to straighten crooked teeth.

Today, options like Invisalign mean people can straighten their teeth without worrying about braces and wires in their mouths ever again!

Teeth Grinding

Many people who grind their teeth don’t even realize they’re doing it. It’s either a reflexive action when stressed or something they do when they sleep. Grinding can lead to teeth becoming worn down, chipped, or cracked.

Because there are many possible causes — and treatments — of teeth grinding, it’s important to visit the dentist for a full assessment. They’ll help to work out why you’re grinding your teeth, and how best to stop it. Sometimes you might need an oral appliance, other times you may simply need to work on stress management.

Gappy Teeth

Gaps between teeth can either result from teeth that aren’t properly shaped, or simply erupted too far apart. There are multiple tools to treat gappy teeth, but the most common are orthodontics or veneers.

Excess Teeth

Most people have 28-32 adult teeth, depending on if they have their wisdom teeth. Some people, however, grow more. These can either be genuine supernumerary teeth, or they can actually be types of benign tumors that grow in the mouth. These extra teeth can cause crowding and impaction.

In any case, extraction is the first course of action to treat the condition, followed sometimes by orthodontics to correct any tooth problems.

Bad Breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a common concern for many people. Those with persistent bad breath are often best served by visiting the dentist to investigate the problem. Often it’s a problem in the mouth, such as an infection in the gum, teeth, or bone. Sometimes it’s a problem lower down the digestive tract, and the patient will need to visit a doctor or specialist.

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