Common Problems

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Expert Dental Treatment in Shakopee, MN

Woman Smiling

At Arhart Dental, our mission is to help every one of our patients achieve and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for their entire life. Dr. Arhart and our highly trained team of dental specialists work with our patients on an individual basis, designing personalized treatment plans that perfectly suit each patient's unique dental needs and lifestyle. While we offer cosmetic dental treatments that focus on the appearance of the smile, the majority of what we do is try to help you prevent a number of common dental problems. 

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also known as dental caries, is one of the most common preventable diseases – and while it's not life threatening, it can severely impair your quality of life. 

The problem begins when the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth are exposed to sugars and carbohydrates present in foods. The bacteria break these materials down into corrosive acids that eat away at tooth enamel. If these acids are left in contact with the teeth for long enough, they'll eventually eat all the way through the protective enamel, forming a cavity. Even worse, bacteria left on the teeth long enough can solidify into a sticky biofilm known as plaque, which is more dangerous to teeth and harder to remove with normal oral hygiene. The best way to prevent plaque and cavities is a strong oral hygiene regimen with daily brushing and flossing. 

Sensitive Teeth

It's normal for teeth to expand and contract in response to temperature changes, but for people with sensitive teeth, hot and cold beverages may actually cause pain or irritation during this process. Tooth sensitivity can have a number of causes. Some of the most common are that tooth enamel wears down over time, the gums recede and expose the sensitive tooth roots, or that the teeth develop microscopic cracks that expose the sensitive interior of the tooth. In severe cases, even breathing cold air can be enough to cause pain. 

Gum Disease

Another common dental problem is gum disease, or periodontal disease. Gum disease is a progressive condition that, if left untreated for long enough, can eventually cause bone damage and tooth loss. Gum disease begins as gingivitis, the mildest form of the condition. Gingivitis causes the gums to become red, slightly swollen and inflamed, and potentially to bleed during flossing. Other signs of gingivitis are persistent halitosis (bad breath). If gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, there's a risk for severe gum damage, damage to the jawbone, and even for teeth to fall out. Thankfully, all forms of gum disease are easily preventable through regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist twice yearly.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a common condition after eating garlic or other pungent foods – but if it's persistent regardless of your diet, it may be a sign of built-up bacteria and plaque in your mouth. If you suffer from persistent halitosis, it's best to have a dental examination to ensure there are no ongoing health problems. 

Canker Sores

Canker sores are small sores that develop in the mouth and generally recur regularly. They generally have a white or gray center surrounded by a red border. They're very common, and they're generally not a problem. Canker sores are caused by bacteria and are not contagious. If they become irritating, you can use antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents to calm them down. If you'd like help with canker sores, let us know and we'll recommend products to you. 

Orthodontic Problems

At some point in their lifetime, nearly everyone develops an orthodontic problem, or malocclusion. Most orthodontic problems are inherited, although some can be caused by habits early on in childhood. We recommend patients receive an initial orthodontic evaluation at age 7, which lets us determine the ideal time to start orthodontic treatment.

Contact Your Shakopee, MN Family Dentist

No matter what your age or dental situation, we are committed to helping you maintain a healthy smile. If you'd like to find out more about the services we offer, have questions about your dental health, or want to schedule an examination at our Shakopee, MN office, we would be thrilled to hear from you. Feel free to call us at 952-445-3349 with any questions, reach out to us at our contact page, or use our easy online form to request an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.