You know good dental habits can help prevent things like cavities and gingivitis, but you may not know what conditions like these really look like or how they can affect your mouth. Use this visual guide to learn more about some of the most common dental health issues, symptoms to watch for and the potential treatments that are available. Please note: This content is for informational purposes only. Only a dentist, physician or other qualified health care professional can make a diagnosis.
Cold Sores (Fever Blisters)
If this happens, see your dentist. A small chip might be able to be smoothed down. Your dentist can use a tooth-colored filling, a veneer or crown to shape up your smile after a larger chip.
A custom mouthguard from your dentist can protect your teeth during sleep and correct bite issues. If stress is the cause, find a way to relax. Meditation, counseling and exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety (and the likelihood that you will grind your teeth).
You are more likely to develop gum disease if you skip brushing and flossing, use tobacco, have crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean, are pregnant, have diabetes or take certain medications. When in its early stages, the disease is still reversible and your gums can be returned to good health with a professional cleaning from your dentist, along with daily brushing and flossing.
Canker sores aren’t contagious and usually heal on their own after one or two weeks. Over-the-counter creams and mouthwashes may give you temporary relief. Until it heals, stay away from hot, spicy or acidic foods because these can irritate the sore.