As they say, your mouth is the window to your overall health. Everything that is happening in your mouth affects your general health in so many ways. Simple tooth decay may cause health problems if not treated, and bad breath may be a sign of other illnesses such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and metabolic disorders.

To take care of your overall health is to take care of your dental health. And the best way to do this is to understand and recognize the symptoms of common dental problems. Here are the most common dental problems and their symptoms.

  • Tooth decay

Over 16% of children aged 5-19 years old and more than 31% of adults aged 20-44 years old live with untreated dental caries. Tooth decay or cavity is a dental problem wherein dental plaque from the sugar from the food you eat and the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth damage your tooth. 

Symptoms:

  • Toothache
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Bad breath
  • Brown or dark spots on the affected tooth
  • Holes may appear on the affected tooth

 

  • Cracked, impacted, chipped, or broken tooth

Broken, chipped, and impacted teeth are a common phenomenon among individuals in the US. Cracked teeth are the third leading cause of tooth loss, while the prevalence of permanent impacted teeth is about 2.9%-13.7%. An impacted tooth happens when the tooth remains embedded inside the gum tissue instead of erupting. On the other hand, broken, cracked, and chipped teeth can be caused by several reasons such as teeth grinding, accidents, and others. 

Symptoms of impacted tooth:

  • Red, tender, inflamed, and bleeding gums
  • Pain and swelling around the jaw
  • Bad breath
  • Foul taste in the mouth

 

  • Sensitive teeth

If you feel a sudden pain after drinking coffee or eating ice cream, you may have sensitive teeth. Your tooth is covered with a thin layer of coating to help protect your teeth from daily wear and tear. Due to the acids from the bacteria and plaque on your teeth, your tooth enamel wears out over time, exposing the sensitive layer of the tooth called dentin. You will feel pain when your dentin comes in contact with stimuli such as cold beverages, hot drinks, or when brushing your teeth.

Symptoms:

  • Bad breath
  • Foul taste in the mouth
  • Sudden and sharp pain when teeth are exposed to air, cold and hot temperature, and acidic foods

 

  • Toothache

Toothache is a dental problem characterized by pain in and around the affected tooth. It is typically caused by a dental abscess, tooth cavity, cracked or broken tooth, damaged dental treatment, or an infection. An over-the-counter pain reliever can manage toothache, but it is crucial to have your condition checked by your dental to determine what causes it. 

Symptoms:

  • Swelling and pain around the affected tooth; the pain may reach the jaw area
  • Foul taste in the mouth
  • Bad breath
  • May experience fever or headache

 

  • Stained tooth

Typically, a stained tooth is caused by unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking or chewing tobacco. Drinking colored beverages such as tea, wine, and coffee may also stain the teeth. The most obvious symptom of a stained tooth is the yellowish or brownish discoloration of the tooth. This dental problem can be treated with teeth whitening options you can buy over-the-counter or through your dentist’s treatments.