Common Dental Problems

Understanding and Preventing Cavities, Gum Disease, and More

Showing our teeth is something we all want to be proud of doing- a bright smile brings confidence, and a healthy mouth keeps it. Your oral health requires a great amount of upkeep and attention, and although tooth decay remains as the most prevalent chronic disease, it is quite preventable with the right habits in place!

As a team of dental and medical experts, we are passionate about supporting your dental health journey, and aim to educate both you about oral care and how to prevent common dental problems; this way you can ensure that their smile remains bright and healthy! Here’s what you need to know.


Tooth Decay and Cavities

This prevalent issue is caused by the build-up of bacteria and acids which erode the tooth enamel. A small hole called a cavity can eventuate in a tooth due to this erosion. If left untreated, tooth decay can escalate, causing discomfort, infections, and ultimately, tooth loss.

This condition can be identified during your regular dental check-up. Teeth x-rays can be taken to see the extent of the decay.



Toothaches can arise from various causes, including dental decay, gum disease, or dental trauma. Seeking prompt dental attention is crucial for identifying and addressing the root cause of toothaches. Regular dental check-ups and maintaining good oral hygiene practices contribute to preventing the development of toothaches.


Bad Breath (Hailitosis)

Also known as halitosis, bad breath expels unpleasant odours from the mouth, of which are dependent on the source or underlying cause. It is primarily caused by sulphur-producing bacteria that typically live on the tongue’s surface or the back of the throat. The rapid breaking down of proteins enables odorous compounds to be released from the back of the tongue and throat.

Dental factors such as gum disease (periodontitis) have a significant contribution to the development of bad breath. These factors can largely be prevented through adequate dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing your teeth (including tongue, cheeks, and roof of mouth) at least twice a day is an essential dental hygiene practice. Addressing underlying issues like dry mouth and smoking also aids in preventing halitosis.


Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is typically indicative of an underlying problem. It Is experienced by approximately 10% of the general population, or 25% of older people. It can result from factors such as medication side effects or certain medical conditions. If this condition persists it can make everyday functions such as chewing and swallowing difficult. Other resulting complications can include a changed sense of taste, sore throat or hoarseness, bad breath and a dry or grooved tongue. Maintaining adequate hydration, using sugar-free lozenges, and addressing any contributing medical factors are key to preventing and alleviating dry mouth.


Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is not the most common mouth disease, attributed with a lifetime risk of occurring about 1 in 60 times for men and 1 in 141 for women. One strong causation factor is poor oral hygiene and gum disease. Studies have shown that irregular teeth brushing habits and a smaller number of dental visits have a direct contribution to the development of this disease. Other influencers include a family history of mouth cancers, human papillomavirus (HPV), epstein-barr virus (EBV), high sun exposure without protection, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

Symptoms of this condition can include a growth or lump inside of your mouth or in your neck, difficulty swallowing, a lip sore that doesn’t heal, loose teeth, numbness, or bleeding in the mouth, white or reddish patches inside of the mouth, ear pain, and weight loss. If you notice any of these symptoms, book an appointment at Good Samaritan Medical & Dental to investigate further.

Avoid tobacco, avoid alcohol or use in moderation, avoid excessive sun exposure to your lips, maintain adequate dental hygiene practices (brushing and flossing twice a day at least), and have regular dental check-ups.

It is important to identify and treat these conditions early on before they develop and become more serious. Understanding and proactively addressing these aspects of oral health are paramount in preventing the escalation of dental problems. Good Samaritan Medical & Dental strive to inform and engage patients with consistent oral care practices to ensure a confidence in oral health and an enduring smile. Early prevention and identification are key; schedule your regular dental check-up today!

When you've got a healthy smile, you're all set!