7 Symptoms of Common Dental Problems

A clean and healthy mouth makes is essential for eating, speaking, breathing, and appearance. Dental health improves your self-esteem and enhances your social interaction, which is vital to living a happy, positive life.  You may not realize many common dental problems also attribute to health issues.

Recent Studies show that common dental problems may increase your risk of major health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Common dental problems also provide signals to many health disorders. For instance; bleeding gums are a common sign of diabetes, blood disorders, or leukemia.

1. Tooth decay

Tooth decay (also referred to as cavities or carries) are damaged areas of your teeth that have turned into holes. Most people associate cavities with children, but they affect people in all age groups. More than 90% of U.S. adults and approximately 1/3 of the world’s population have cavities.

Cavities usually occur when carbohydrates such as cereal, cake, bread, fruits, and soda get stuck between teeth. The carbohydrates, bacteria, and saliva in your mouth form dental plaque; a clear sticky film that clings to your teeth. Acids in the plaque slowly dissolve your teeth enamel, damaging your teeth and causing cavities.

To spot a cavity in your teeth, watch out for dark spots, white spots, and holes on your teeth. Small cavities are more difficult to recognize, but the trained eye of a dentist will catch them. Get rid of food particles and plaque in your mouth by brushing twice daily and flossing daily.

2. Toothaches

A toothache, also known as tooth pain, is a sharp or dull pain on your tooth and the surrounding area. The pain happens when your tooth’s nerve roots are irritated. Severe toothaches have a significant impact on the work, sleep, moods, eating, and daily activities of a person.

In general, toothaches indicate a cavity. The unpleasant pain is also caused by a variety of dental problems including; gum disease, sensitivity, teeth grinding, tooth fracture, abscess and many more. The list of possible causes is extensive, and it is best to visit a dentist immediately before the pain gets worse.

3. Bad Breath (Halitosis)

This is an unpleasant odor of the mouth. Bad breath is common among adults, but people rarely get treated because it’s perceived as embarrassing.

There are two main ways to know if you suffer from bad breath. You can lick the inside of your wrist, wait for 5-10 minutes for the saliva to dry out and then smell your wrist. You can also use dental floss on your back teeth and smell it after 2 minutes.

Bad breath can be a symptom of poor oral hygiene, use of tobacco products, or dental cavities. Persistent Halitosis may also signal gum disease, oral infections, oral cancers, and even nose or throat conditions.

4. Discolored Teeth

Discolored or stained teeth can cost someone their confidence, self-esteem and even the desire to smile. Yellow teeth are a natural part of the aging process. As your teeth enamel wears off with age, the yellowish dentin beneath starts to show. However, teeth discoloration may be a symptom of poor dental hygiene and smoking.

Beverages such as coffee, teas, wine, and colas contain substances that can also affect your enamel and cause teeth discoloration or staining.

5. Bleeding, Swollen or Tender Gums

Bleeding, swollen or tender gums are symptoms mainly caused by gum disease (Periodontal Disease). This common dental problem is caused by mouth bacteria eroding your gums and teeth. The swelling and redness are your mouth’s response to the harmful bacteria in your gum.

Dental hygiene and regular dental checkups play a significant role in preventing gum disease. What’s more, recent studies have linked untreated gum disease to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and stroke, so it’s important to have it treated immediately.

6. Sensitive Teeth

If your teeth twinge when you eat cold foods or drink hot beverages, you may be experiencing teeth sensitivity. Generally, sensitive teeth are a symptom of worn tooth enamel and exposed tooth roots. However, the sensitivity may also be caused by gum disease, cracked teeth, cavities, or a worn filling.

7. Jaw Pain

This throbbing, uncomfortable pain can affect a person’s speaking, eating or sleeping ability. The jaw is responsible for holding your gums and teeth.  Jaw pain can be a symptom of many common dental problems. Jaw pain can be a symptom of Temporomandibular disorder or TMJD (dysfunction of the muscles that move your jaw), teeth grinding, clenching, cavities, gum disease, tooth gaps, and damaged teeth.


Maintaining good dental hygiene and regular dental check-ups contribute significantly to reducing your chances of developing most common dental problems and the uncomfortable symptoms that come with them.

Dr. Mott proudly serves the greater Shreveport & Bossier area. His dental practice has the best in modern dental technology, and their highly trained staff is ready to assist you. Dr. Mott is one of the best, most highly rated Bossier dentists. Dr Mott accepts most insurances and offers alternative payment options like CareCredit and Lending Club.  Stop in and see what everyone is talking about. Make your appointment with Dr. Mott today.


Causes and Treatments for TMJ

TMJ syndrome stands for temporomandibular joint syndrome. It is a disorder that affects  the jaw tissues and the nerves. It generally occurs when you suffer an injury in the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw with your skull.


Even the doctors are not really sure about the causes behind this syndrome. However, they believe that is mainly due to individual habits or as a result of some severe injury in the jaw bone. The common causes are:

Teeth grinding: This is a common habit that affects many Americans. Especially while sleeping, teeth grinding can do a lot of damage. It will make that area weak and more prone to injuries. The structure of your teeth may also change as a result of continuous grinding.

Repeated biting on things: Continuous biting on objects is a nervous habit that can also cause serious damage including TMJ. People chew on anything, from a pen to their fingernails to ice cubes. The continuous pressure generated on the jaw bones will make it weak. Excessive chewing of gums is also another major cause.

Trauma: If you suffer some type of  severe injury to the jaw bone area, then you may be at higher risk for developing TMJ.

Risk Factors:

Common risk factors for developing TMJ include:

Stress: Excess stress causes clenching of the teeth, which is one of the major causes of TMJ. Stress can also cause teeth grinding, another major cause of TMJ.

Gender and Age: Women who are between 20 years and 40 years of age are at maximum risk. Those who fall into this category should definitely see their dentist regularly and discuss symptoms immediately should any develop.

Sedentary Work Habits:  People who work at their desk for long hours are also at risk. Bad posture causes pain in the neck region, which may lead to problems in the jaw.


Since there are lots of other diseases having similar symptoms, it is slightly difficult to diagnose TMJ. First, the doctor will look at your jaw structure and ask for the exact location of the pain. Generally, a X-Ray is required so that your doctor has a clear view inside your jaw. In some cases, an MRI or CT scan may also be necessary.


Pain in the jaw: This is the most common symptom. If you are experiencing continuous or severe pain in your jaw, definitely consider visiting the doctor. You may experience pain during any slight movement of the jaw, like yawning or even talking.

Pain in the ear: In many cases, a slight pain in the air is also observed. Many people also have a ringing sensation in their ears, commonly known as tinnitus. In severe cases, hearing loss may also occur.

Clicking noise while moving the jaw: While moving your jaw, you may hear a popping sound. Others may also be able to hear this noise. It usually means the dislocation of the discs.

Apart from this, there may also be other symptoms like vertigo, tight muscles in the neck region or severe headaches.


Some of the common treatments include:

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Medications: In order to get rid of the swelling and the pain, you can take some non-prescription pain medications like ibuprofen. If those don’t work, your doctor may suggest other strong pain relievers.

Oral Splints: These are plastic pieces, which you need to wear so that your upper set of teeth and your lower set of teeth do not collide. This will protect you from the harmful effects of clenching or biting.

Physical Therapy: Physical Therapy may also help.You can try out different jaw exercises to strengthen your jaw area.

Surgery: When the other forms of treatment fail, surgery is performed. The success rate is very high, but in some cases some side effects may occur.

Try out soft foods: Try to include as many fruits and vegetables in your meal as possible. Also cut your food into small pieces, so that you don’t need to exert too much pressure on the jaw.