skip to Main Content

When it comes to oral health, there are a variety of common dental issues that can affect individuals of all ages. From cavities and tooth decay to gum disease and halitosis, these problems can have a significant impact on one’s overall well-being. In this blog post, we will explore the most common dental problems seen by the dental team at Midgette Family Dentistry, discussing the causes and treatments for each. We will also highlight the importance of regular dental check-ups and cleanings in preventing these issues from worsening.

Cavities and Tooth Decay – A Widespread Concern

Cavities and tooth decay stand as prevalent challenges in oral health, affecting individuals from toddlers to seniors. These conditions result from the destructive work of bacteria in the mouth, which thrive on sugar and starches from our diet. When these bacteria feed, they produce acids that gradually erode tooth enamel, leading to the formation of cavities. Factors contributing to this include inadequate brushing and flossing, excessive consumption of sugary snacks and beverages, and a lack of fluoride, which helps reinforce enamel against decay.

Addressing cavities typically involves the removal of the decayed portion of the tooth followed by filling the area with a durable material to restore its function and prevent further damage. Prevention, however, is paramount and centers on maintaining diligent oral hygiene routines, reducing sugar intake, and ensuring regular exposure to fluoride, either through water consumption or dental products. The dental professionals at Midgette Family Dentistry also recommend sealants for children and teens as an effective preventive measure against cavities in molars and premolars, areas particularly susceptible to decay.

Gum Disease: More Than Just Sore Gums

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, goes far beyond mere discomfort. Beginning as gingivitis, marked by red, swollen gums that bleed easily, it can escalate into periodontitis if not properly treated. This advanced stage of gum disease attacks the bone and supportive tissues that hold your teeth in place, potentially leading to tooth loss.

The primary culprit behind gum disease is plaque, a sticky film of bacteria constantly forming on our teeth. When plaque isn’t removed through regular brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar, which can only be eliminated by a dental professional. Factors like smoking, hormonal changes, and certain illnesses can increase the risk of developing gum disease.

Treatment may range from deep cleaning techniques, such as scaling and root planing, to more advanced procedures to restore supportive tissues. Early detection and intervention are key to preventing the progression of gum disease, highlighting the importance of routine dental visits at  Midgette Family Dentistry for cleanings and examinations.

Halitosis – Tackling Bad Breath Head-On

Halitosis, often simply referred to as bad breath, can stem from various sources, making it a pervasive issue among dental patients. A significant factor in halitosis is poor dental hygiene. Without regular brushing and flossing, food particles remain in the mouth, fostering bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. These bacteria produce foul-smelling compounds, leading to unpleasant breath.

Additionally, certain foods like garlic and onions, when absorbed into the bloodstream and transferred to the lungs, contribute to halitosis. Dental issues such as gum disease and cavities can also harbor bacteria responsible for bad breath. Less commonly, medical conditions like sinus infections, diabetes, and liver or kidney problems may be the underlying cause. Addressing halitosis involves enhancing oral hygiene practices, including thorough brushing, flossing, and the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes.

For persistent cases, it’s crucial to visit your dentist at Midgette Family Dentistry to investigate and treat any underlying dental or health issues. Identifying the root cause is essential in effectively combating halitosis and improving both oral health and confidence.

The Grind of Bruxism: Teeth Grinding Uncovered

Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding, is a condition that often goes unnoticed until symptoms like jaw pain, worn enamel, or tooth sensitivity become pronounced. While it may occur both consciously during the day and unconsciously during sleep, its effects on dental health are consistently detrimental. The exact causes of bruxism can vary, encompassing factors such as stress, anxiety, abnormal bite, or sleep disorders. This involuntary habit can lead to serious dental issues, including cracked or chipped teeth, increased tooth sensitivity, and even damage to jaw joints.

Addressing bruxism effectively requires a multi-faceted approach. Dentists may recommend wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard at night to protect the teeth from the pressure and friction of grinding. Additionally, managing stress through relaxation techniques or therapy can help reduce the frequency of grinding episodes. In cases where misaligned teeth are a contributing factor, orthodontic treatments may be advised to correct the bite. Regular dental check-ups at Midgette Family Dentistry are crucial for bruxism sufferers, as dentists can monitor the condition’s progression and intervene before significant damage occurs.

Special Considerations for Orthodontic Patients

Navigating oral health becomes a bit more complex for those with orthodontic appliances. Braces, aligners, and other corrective devices introduce additional nooks and crannies where food particles and plaque can accumulate, elevating the risk of dental caries and periodontal disease.

To combat these challenges, individuals with orthodontics must adopt meticulous cleaning habits. This includes using specialized tools such as interdental brushes or floss threaders to remove debris lodged around brackets and between wires. Fluoride rinses may also be recommended to help strengthen enamel and fight tooth decay. Importantly, orthodontic patients should adhere to regular dental checkups at Midgette Family Dentistry, allowing our professionals to monitor their oral health closely and adjust their care regimen as needed. These visits offer an opportunity for a thorough cleaning, an essential complement to at-home care.

For those wearing removable devices like clear aligners, proper hygiene extends to the appliance itself, ensuring it is cleaned regularly to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria. By taking these extra steps, patients with orthodontics can ensure their journey to a straighter smile doesn’t come at the expense of their overall oral health.

Dental Care for Seniors: Navigating Aging with a Healthy Smile

Aging brings unique challenges to maintaining oral health, with seniors particularly vulnerable to a host of dental issues. Among these, dry mouth is notably prevalent, often a side effect of medications rather than a natural aging process. This condition can significantly reduce saliva flow—which is crucial for neutralizing acids produced by bacteria and remineralizing tooth enamel—thus increasing the risk of cavities and gum disease.

Additionally, years of dental work can wear down, and older fillings may need to be replaced to prevent decay from setting in beneath them. The loss of teeth, a common occurrence in senior years, not only affects dietary choices and nutrition but can also lead to bone loss in the jaw, altering facial structure and impacting overall health.

Seniors with dentures face their own set of challenges, as ill-fitting dentures can cause discomfort and make eating difficult, which further complicates nutritional intake. Regular visits to Midgette Family Dentistry become increasingly important for seniors to manage these complex issues. These appointments allow for the early detection and management of oral health problems, ensuring that seniors can continue to enjoy a high quality of life with a healthy and functional smile.

The Impact of Replacement Devices on Oral Health

Navigating the daily care of replacement devices, such as bridges and dentures, is vital to maintaining oral health. These devices, while effective in restoring function and appearance after tooth loss, require diligent upkeep to prevent potential complications.

For those with dentures, it is essential to clean them daily to remove food particles and plaque that can lead to gum irritation and infections. Soaking dentures overnight in a cleaning solution helps to keep them hygienic and ensures their longevity. Similarly, patients with bridges must be meticulous in their cleaning routines. Special floss and brushes designed to clean beneath and around the bridge can prevent the buildup of plaque, which could otherwise lead to gum disease and bad breath.

It is also crucial for individuals with these devices to have them regularly examined by a dental professional. Adjustments may be necessary over time to ensure a proper fit and to prevent discomfort or damage to surrounding teeth and gums. By adhering to these care guidelines, patients can avoid many of the oral health challenges associated with replacement devices.

Emphasizing the Importance of Regular Dental Check-Ups

Ensuring you visit your dentist at Midgette Family Dentistry for regular check-ups and cleanings stands as a cornerstone of optimal oral health. These appointments serve as a critical defense against the escalation of common dental problems, such as cavities, gum disease, and more. By identifying issues early, dental professionals can administer the necessary treatments to halt progression and prevent minor concerns from becoming major complications.

Moreover, these visits provide an opportunity for your dentist to offer personalized advice on improving daily oral hygiene practices and dietary habits that can further safeguard your dental health. Professional cleanings during these check-ups are invaluable, as they remove plaque and tartar buildup that regular brushing and flossing at home can’t manage.

In essence, committing to these regular dental visits is an investment in your oral health, ensuring that your smile remains vibrant and your mouth stays healthy, minimizing the need for more extensive and costly treatments in the future. Prioritize scheduling these essential check-ups to maintain your oral health and enhance your overall well-being.

The team of oral care experts at Midgette Family Dentistry is here to treat any of these common dental issues, and much more, for patients in the Chesapeake, VA area. Contact us today to make an appointment for a consultation. Your dental health and comfort are our priorities.



Schedule an appointment today!

“My family of six has gone to Midgette Family Dentistry for nearly 20 years. They’re absolutely fantastic! We’ve never had a less than pleasurable experience. Highly recommended!”

Michael Cromartie

“As usual, everyone was pleasant and professional from the time I entered the front door until I left. Fabulous office. My wife switched to this practice and she has the same experience. Great dentistry!”

Michael Bono

“Best dental office around, love my hygienist, and all the office staff and Dr’s here! They take good care of my kids too. Wouldn’t want to go anywhere else!”

Leslie Allen

“A little over two years ago I had to switch from Dr. Midgette’s Dentistry due to an insurance change. Recently I was able to obtain coverage that listed Dr. Midgette as an approved provider. It feels sooo good to be back home!”

Wenda Massey

“Friendly staff and great service. They do a great job of explaining what needs to be done and mapping out a plan of attack that fits you.”

Leonard Thurman
Back To Top