Solutions to Common Dental Problems


Teeth play an essential role in your overall health and wellbeing. Apart from their critical role in chewing food, they also assist you to speak and smile and assist in shaping the lower 1/3rd of your face. Problems with your teeth can vary depending on your age, nutrition, lifestyle and attention to good oral health practices.

Most problems are treatable and often preventable. By taking good care of your gums and teeth you can vastly improve your dental health and promote better overall health outcomes.

This means regular brushing and flossing, and of course good nutrition. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help minimise the development of dental issues and keep your teeth in optimum health.

Problems With Your Teeth

Dental issues may manifest as a variety of different symptoms and signs. You may have slight or significant tooth pain or tooth ache, sensitivity to hot or cold, red, inflamed or bleeding gums or you feel sensations when you consume sweet drinks or foods. Other signs and symptoms can include bad breath or loose teeth, and perhaps even a temperature, swollen gums, boils etc.

Some of the most common problems include tooth decay and plaque and toothache & pain. Other problems include teeth that are: sensitive, loose, worn, broken or cracked, discoloured or stained and teeth grinding.

Some common conditions we see include (a) cavities - the development of a hole in your tooth due to an infection caused by the buildup of bacteria and (b) gum disease (periodontal disease) - the infection of gums can result in red, tender bleeding gums and can undermine the tooth's ability to attach to the jaw bone.  Other conditions include:

  • pulpitis
  • tooth impaction
  • abscess
  • malocclusion (or misalignment of teeth)
  • tooth fracture


Tooth Names And Functions

When you visit the dentist you may often hear the dentist refer to your individual teeth when charting your teeth. Indeed, teeth have specific names and functions.

We have two set of teeth - first appear as a child (deciduous or baby teeth) and are the primary teeth. These are later replaced by adult (secondary or permanent) teeth.

Teeth can be categorised as:

Incisors & Canines.  Incisors - The eight incisors are positioned at the front of your mouth and consist of central incisors and two lateral incisors, in the top and bottom of the jaw.  The incisors are sharp and can resemble chisels with a flat and thin edge. They play a fundamental role to assist biting into food. They also have an important role in your appearance (i.e. smile).  Canines - The four canine teeth are pointed, sharp and positioned next to the incisors. Canines are used to tear food, these teeth are the longest teeth you have.

Molars & Premolars.  Premolars  - Premolars (or bicuspids) possess grooves and ridges. These characteristics help teeth to grind food and aid in chewing.  Molars - These are the biggest teeth and aid in chewing and grinding food. Molars are rectangular in shape, broader and have 4 or 5 cusps.  Molars act like millstones, grinding food to aid the eating process. They indirectly protect your jaw joint (TMJ). The last molars to erupt through are the wisdom teeth which not everyone gets.


Tooth Anatomy

The two main parts of the tooth are the crown and root. Each of these parts have various components. These include:

Root – About two thirds of your tooth is considered the tooths root.

The root of the tooth is found in the jaw bone . The root holds the tooth in place via the periodontal ligament. The main parts of the tooth root are:

  • periodontal ligaments – are attached from the root surface to the adjacent jaw bone and suspends the tooth within the bone. It actually allows the tooth to be suspended in the bone providing sensory feed back on how hard your are biting. This something that dental implants do not do.
  • cementum – covers the tooths root surface and is connected to the periodontal ligament
  • nerves and blood vessels – enter the tooth via the root of the tooth providing nutrients for the tooth and are also found in the periodontal ligament space. With out this the tooth would be unable to repair itself within as the forces of mastication infection(decay) would not be counteracted.
  • root canal (or pulp canal) – this area contains the pulpal tissue (i.e. nerves blood vessels etc) not just to the root of the tooth but crown of the tooth
  • accessory canal – are minor canals connected to the main canal of the tooth.

Crown – This is the visible part of the tooth and has 3 parts.

  • Enamel – The crown is visible at the top part of your tooth. It is a hard yet brittle substance which protects the dentine beneath it. Enamel is the hardest substances of the human body.  The enamel sits above the gum line (gingiva).
  • Dentine – Dentine is found throughout the entire tooth structure. It is sensitive and plays a pivotal role. It is a tissue nourished by the tooths pulp and consists of tubules, fluid and nerve endings. Dentine is compressible or malleable.  Dentine sits just beneath the protective enamel, providing support to the enamel layer.
  • Pulp and Pulp Chamber – The pulp is found in the pulp chamber and consists of blood vessels and nerves to keep the tooth alive and allow further deposits of dentine throughout your life (known as secondary dentine) and in response to any fillings (known as tertiary dentine).  The formation of dentine throughout your life, whether it is secondary or tertiary dentine, result in the reduction of the size of the pulp canal & chamber. The term sclerosis is often used to describe a narrow root canal.

If you have a specific dental problem, or have been tracking well but it’s been a while between visits, we are here for you.

A regular dental check-up is the best line of defence in detecting problems and maintaining the best dental health you can.

Maintain great oral health and a happy and healthy smile. At Woodville & Seaton Dental Clinic we can answer your questions and provide you with a tailored dental treatment plan that suits your needs.

Whether you come to us for preventative dental care, restorative procedures or general cosmetic dentistry, our family friendly dental practice is here for you.

49 Woodville Road

Woodville, SA 5011

(08) 8268 5422

Call us today!

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