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Common Problems

Tooth Decay

Caries, or tooth decay, is a preventable disease. While caries might not endanger your life, it may negatively impact your quality of life. When your teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids may form that begin to eat away at tooth enamel. 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, with tooth decay as the end result.

Gum Disease

Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. Children can have gingivitis from too much plaque, but rarely have periodontal disease. Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Gums in the early stage of disease, or gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Daily brushing and flossing helps to prevent the buildup 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 may cause temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or other medical problem. In many children bad breath may be due to allergies, sinus problems or tonsil and adenoid issues.

Canker Sores

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

Orthodontic Problems

A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types may be acquired. Some causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period of time, may cause malocclusions.

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