Common dental issues and how to treat them

Most of us will face dental issues at some point in our lives.

The key is to recognise the signs early and be proactive about seeking dental care. Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options available for common dental issues. Regular dental check-ups play a role in preventing these problems, but it’s essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms to watch out for.

Bad breath

The number one dental concern that adults often face is bad breath, with one in four people suffering from it on a regular basis. Also known as halitosis, bad breath can be embarrassing and distressing.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath is most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene, but it can also be a result of eating strong-smelling foods like garlic or onions. It can be a symptom of underlying dental issues like gum disease and tooth decay, or even a sign of dry mouth. Smoking or drinking alcohol may also have an impact on your breath.

Ways to address bad breath

Simple ways to address bad breath include:

*Brushing using a fluoride toothpaste
*Flossing regularly
*Using mouthwash
*Gently cleaning your tongue once a day
*Staying hydrated

If bad breath persists despite these measures, it’s essential to visit our Chatham practice for a check-up. Our experienced team will take the time to understand what is causing your persistent bad breath and then create a tailored treatment plan to address it.


Tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can occur when the protective enamel on the teeth wears down, exposing the underlying nerve endings. If you have sensitive teeth, you are most likely to notice it when consuming hot, cold or sugary foods and drinks. You may also feel sensitivity when going outside into fresh air.

Common causes of tooth sensitivity include:

*Tooth decay
*Receding gums
*Teeth grinding
*Enamel erosion

Home remedies for tooth sensitivity include avoiding acidic foods and drinks and practising good oral hygiene. However, if tooth sensitivity persists or worsens, it’s crucial to schedule an appointment with us.

Gum disease

Also known as gingivitis, gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums that can lead to inflammation, bleeding and eventually tooth loss if left untreated. You may have also heard of periodontitis, which is advanced gum disease.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is often caused by plaque buildup due to poor oral hygiene habits. It can also be exacerbated by factors such as smoking, hormonal changes or certain medical conditions like diabetes.

What are the signs and symptoms of gum disease?

Common signs and symptoms of gum disease include:

*Gum inflammation
*Bleeding gums
*Receding gums
*Persistent bad breath
*Sensitive or loose teeth

What are the treatments for gum disease?

There are several at-home measures you can take to reduce your risk of developing gum disease, including:

*Brushing and flossing regularly
*Using an antibacterial mouthwash
*Eating a balanced diet

If you notice symptoms of gum disease, it’s essential to seek professional treatment promptly to help prevent it from leading to tooth loss. Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene practices are essential for preventing and managing gum disease.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is another common dental issue.

What is tooth decay?

The process typically starts with plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. When sugars and carbohydrates from food and drinks are consumed, the bacteria in plaque produce acids. These acids can ultimately begin to attack your tooth enamel.

Tooth decay can lead to pain, sensitivity and tooth loss if left untreated.

Preventing tooth decay

Preventing tooth decay involves maintaining good oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing regularly, limiting sugary foods and drinks and attending regular dental check-ups.

When tooth decay develops, depending on the severity of the damage, our dentists may recommend treatment options such as:

*Dental fillings
*Root canal treatment

A dental abscess

A dental abscess is a pocket of pus that forms due to a bacterial infection in the tooth or gums. It can cause severe pain, swelling and fever and should not be ignored.

Ignoring a dental abscess can lead to serious complications, including the spread of infection to other parts of the body. It’s crucial to visit our practice promptly if you suspect a dental abscess.

Treatment options may include:

*Draining the abscess
*A prescription for antibiotics
*Root canal treatment to remove the infected tissue



Toothaches are a common dental concern and can be caused by various factors, such as decay, gum disease or trauma. If you experience persistent or severe tooth pain, it’s essential to visit our practice in Chatham for an evaluation. Treatment for a toothache will depend on the underlying cause.

The perfect at-home dental routine

Maintaining a proper at-home dental routine is essential for preventing common dental issues. This includes brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, flossing once a day, and using fluoride toothpaste. Additionally, avoiding sugary foods and drinks, quitting smoking, and not rinsing your mouth out after brushing can help protect your teeth and gums.

Why choose SMIL?

At SMIL, we are home to an experienced team of dentists who are committed to providing personalised care. We utilise state-of-the-art technology and techniques to diagnose and treat common dental issues effectively.

Our hygienists can offer their advice and guidance on taking care of your teeth at home, helping you to maintain your oral health between visits.

Keeping your smile healthy

Your oral health is crucial to your overall well-being, and recognising and addressing common dental issues is key to maintaining a healthy smile.

If you notice anything unusual or experience persistent discomfort, please don’t hesitate to visit our practice for a check-up. Our compassionate team is dedicated to helping you keep your smile healthy for years to come.

Call our team today on 01634 564 493 if you have any dental concerns. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Smil, Unit 69-70, Dockside Outlet Shopping Centre, Maritime Way, St Mary's Island, Chatham, ME4 3ED

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