Common Problems

Common Dental Problems

Prevention is always the best remedy for a healthy smile, but problems can arise even with diligent oral hygiene. Here are a few of the most common dental problems, all of which we can treat in our office.

Tooth Decay

Also called cavities or dental caries, tooth decay is one of the most common diseases – and it’s entirely preventable. Tooth decay starts when the sugars and carbohydrates in food interact with bacteria in the mouth to form acids, which eat away at tooth enamel, causing decay. Without proper oral hygiene or treatment, bacteria can feed on food particles and grow to form a sticky biofilm called plaque, which can accelerate dental decay.

Sensitive Teeth

The teeth naturally contract and expand when exposed to temperature changes, and typically, this won’t cause a problem. For people with sensitive teeth, however, this can be very painful. Tooth sensitivity may develop due to worn down enamel, exposed tooth roots due to receding gums, or microscopic cracks in the teeth that reveal the inner layers of the tooth. If sensitivity is severe enough, even breathing in cold air can cause sharp pain, presenting a major hindrance to the quality of a patients life.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a condition caused by bacterial infection in the gums. This bacterial infection can cause a wide range of problems ranging from bad breath and inflammation to tooth loss and bone damage – so periodontal treatment is vital. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that starts in a mild form called gingivitis. Without treatment, gingivitis can become periodontitis, and eventually can threaten the integrity of the teeth and the jawbone. The best way to prevent gum disease is through a strong oral hygiene regimen, and periodontal treatment can help reverse gum disease.

Chronic Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Daily oral hygiene through brushing and flossing is critical to preventing the build-up of food particles and bacteria in the mouth, which is one of the causes of bad breath. Some pungent foods like garlic can cause temporary bad breath, but if bad breath persists regardless of diet, it’s usually a sign of an underlying dental or medical problem. More than just a nuisance, chronic halitosis is an indicator that it’s time to come in for a dental appointment.

Canker Sores

Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small, recurrent sores inside the mouth. They may form on the tongue, the gums, or the insides of the cheeks, and they usually last one to two weeks. Canker sores look like a white or grey patch surrounded by a red border and may be painful, but are not contagious or particularly harmful in any other way. Using an antimicrobial mouthwash or topical agent can help soothe canker sores and reduce their duration.


Toothaches may be caused by infected gums, tooth decay, tooth fracture, dental trauma, or a damaged filling. It is important to provide home remedies right after experiencing the pain. Consult with one of our pediatric dentists or call the office immediately if the face is swollen or the pain still persists.

Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

This problem may arise while your child plays, runs around or communicates with playmates and is common after receiving dental anesthesia. It is important to know what to do right after it happens. We advise to apply ice to bruised areas and apply firm pressure with clean gauze or cloth if there is bleeding. It may be necessary to eat soft foods and avoid spicy or acidic foods until the area heals. Over the counter pain medications such as children’s Motrin can also help. If the problem persists please call our dental office for an appointment.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

Permanent teeth may accidentally be knocked out while playing or performing some daily tasks or playing sports. Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth. Place the tooth in whole milk or Save a Tooth Solution if available and call our office immediately.

Schedule a Consultation with Your Buckhead & Chastain Park Pediatric Dentist Dr. Wes Powell

While common, some of these dental problems can be serious. If you think you’re dealing with one of these issues, we’d love to help. Contact us today to learn more about the treatments we have to offer and to schedule a consultation at our Buckhead dental office. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve your dream smile!

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Foods   to    Avoid

While you are wearing braces, please avoid eating hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar. Hard foods can break or damage the wires and brackets, and sticky foods can get caught between the wires and brackets. Minimize the amount of sugary foods you eat; the sugar can cause tooth decay and other related problems.

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:

  • Gum (sugar-free or regular)
  • Licorice
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Starburst

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:

  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • French bread crust/rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
  • Bagels
  • Chips
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Pizza crust
  • Uncooked carrots (unless cut)

Minimize Sugary Foods like:

  • Cake
  • Ice Cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy

Only Once a Day:

  • Soda
  • Sweetened tea
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid
  • Drinks with sugar

We encourage patients to quit bad habits, such as fingernail biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on foreign objects. All of these activities can break or damage your braces.

It’s important to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. If you have a loose/broken wire or bracket, please call our office immediately to arrange a repair appointment.

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