The Cause and Effect of Dental Problems

The truth is, dental problems rarely appear out of nowhere. They occur for a specific cause and may result in various effects. If you are currently facing a dental problem, it’s important to know why the problem occurred and its effects. Your local dentist in Fairview, TX, understands that every patient who comes into their office is unique and may face a wide range of dental issues. Because of this, we go above and beyond to provide the dental treatment that each individual needs.

Below are some of the common cause and effect when it comes to dental problems.

Cause and effect of dental problems


CauseA combination of factors can cause a cavity, such as bacteria in your mouth, dry mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks, tooth decay, and not cleaning your teeth well. Cavities, also known as dental caries, do not develop overnight as certain types of bacteria can take a while to cause dental decay. However, dental cavities can also form as soon as a few hours after it is consumed. Cavities are treatable when caught early. The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist every six months is important as they are able to remove plaque and calculus from the surface of your teeth and check.

EffectWhen cavities occur, the tooth becomes weak, an infection can occur, toothaches, and if left untreated, it may cause the surrounding teeth to be infected and eventually may require tooth extraction. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste along with flossing is the best way to prevent tooth decay. Visiting your dentist regularly so they can perform routine dental exams and professional cleanings will greatly decrease the chance of getting cavities.

Gum Disease

Cause: Your gums are attached to your teeth at a lower point than the gum line. This forms a small space called a sulcus which can trap food and plaque, cause an infection leading to a gum disease called gingivitis.

Effect: It’s important to understand that gum disease doesn’t necessarily have any symptoms. However, when you do experience symptoms, here are signs of gum disease.

  • Gums that are red, tender, or swollen
  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss your teeth
  • Loose teeth where they might pull away from the gums
  • Change in how your teeth fit when you bite such, as a misalignment (malocclusion)
  • Tooth Pain and or sensitive teeth when chewing 
  • Partial dentures no longer fit or feel looser
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away after you brush your teeth

Dental Crowding (Crowded Teeth)

Cause: Crowded teeth, also known as dental crowding or tooth overcrowding, is a common dental problem in which there is not enough room for permanent teeth to fit once the baby teeth fall out. The cause of this is usually due to genetics.

Effect: Malocclusion refers to an improper alignment of the teeth in relation to the dental arch. The most common types of malocclusion are overbite (where the lower teeth overlap on top of the upper teeth), underbite (where the upper teeth overlap on top of the lower teeth), and crossbite (where the teeth are abnormally positioned in relation to each other). In most cases, your dentist may recommend orthodontics after examining your teeth.

Periodontal Disease

Cause: Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria and food particles. Over time, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease such as periodontitis.

Effect: When periodontal disease happens, a buildup of plaque occurs between your teeth, irritates your gums and creates redness, bleeding gums, bad breath, other infections, and exposure of the roots of your teeth. In severe cases of periodontal disease, it may not be possible to save the tooth resulting in tooth loss.

Sensitive Teeth

CauseTooth sensitivity occurs naturally in those who are born with thinner enamel on their teeth. In other cases, it can happen to those with enamel that is worn down by everyday exposure to certain things like caffeine, acidic foods, sugary foods, brushing their teeth too hard, using a hard toothbrush, or grinding your teeth at night. While tooth sensitivity may seem like no big deal, it can indicate a potentially serious problem such as a cracked tooth, tooth decay, gum infection, cavity or an infection from a tooth abscess.

EffectPeople with tooth sensitivity may experience pain or discomfort. To help with sensitive teeth, visit your general dentist to find out what’s causing tooth sensitivity. It can be as simple as your dentist recommending dental sealants to help fill in cracks in your teeth, strengthening the enamel, or they may find out something that you may not be aware of.

Irreversible pulpitis (inflamed or infected dental nerve, tooth abscess)

Cause: Irreversible pulpitis occurs when bacteria spread to the nerve, and there is significant inflammation of the pulp.

Effect: Irreversible pulpitis is characterized by severe pain and is often accompanied by swelling, inflammation, fever, unpleasant taste in the mouth, bad breath, and difficulty eating. In order to treat this, it is recommended to visit your general dentist to find the appropriate treatment.

Stained teeth

CauseStained teeth falls into three different categories: extrinsic, intrinsic, and age-related.

Extrinsic. Although extrinsic tooth discoloration is a common cause of tooth staining, it’s likely that the stains only affect the tooth’s enamel or the surface of the tooth. The most common causes of extrinsic stains include smoking cigarettes, food, and beverages.

Intrinsic. This type of stain is found deep within the teeth and is resistant to most whitening products. The good news is intrinsic stains often respond favorably to in-office whitening treatments. Examples of intrinsic stains may come from tooth decay, trauma or injury to a tooth, too much fluoride, and genetics.

Age-related. As we grow older, our tooth enamel naturally starts to wear away, making our teeth appear darker and discolored.

EffectNo matter the cause of stained teeth, it is usually a cosmetic concern. If stained teeth are of concern, you may want to talk with your dentist about whether laser teeth whitening or another whitening treatment may work best for you.

Tooth Loss

CauseTooth loss can happen if tooth decay or periodontal disease is not treated promptly. Accidental injury may also cause tooth loss depending on the severity of the injury.

EffectChanges in speech pattern, difficulty chewing, cosmetic concerns, shifting of teeth, and jawbone loss may result from tooth loss. Dental implants are generally recommended to replace your natural teeth as they are durable, feel like natural teeth, and long-lasting. 

Bad Breath

Cause: Poor oral hygiene, such as not brushing or flossing frequently, cavity, tooth decay, dry mouth, medications, infections, acid reflux, and even oral cancer, can be a cause of bad breath, also known as halitosis.

Effect: When persistent bad breath goes unnoticed, it could be the first sign of a dental health issue. Without proper treatment, it could increase your risk of tooth decay or lead to more serious dental issues such as gum disease or oral cancer. If you are experiencing bad breath that does not appear to be related to dental health issues, keeping hydrated will naturally keep dry mouth and bad breath at bay.

Mouth sores

Cause: A common mouth sore is called a canker sores that occur inside the mouth.  The cause of the sore to occur may vary between each person, but some of the possible triggers for canker sores include…

  • Minor injury to the mouth such as a cheek bite
  • Toothpastes and mouth rinses that may irritate the mouth
  • Food sensitivity to spicy or acidic foods
  • Diet lacking in vitamin B-12, zinc, folate, or iron
  • Allergic response to certain bacteria in your mouth
  • Emotional stress
Effect: The affected area will have a tingling or burning sensation for a couple of days to a couple of weeks. The length of time depends on whether the area is treated right away or if the area continues to be agitated.

Common Prevention

The key to keeping your mouth healthy is routine. The foundation to a healthy smile begins with brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. In addition, regular dental visits to your for your dental checkup exam and cleaning will greatly decrease the chances of developing dental issues that can lead to more serious problems later on. A healthy smile starts with you, and your dentist near you is to help. Following these preventive steps can not only keep your oral health healthy but can also save you time and money down the road.


Common dental problems aren’t just random things that happen to your teeth. Untreated dental conditions are usually linked to a common cause with a treatable solution. When you understand the causes and consequences of these dental problems, you can take proactive steps in protecting your oral health. At Sloan Creek Dental, we are dedicated to promoting and protecting your oral health. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our family dental office if you have any questions about your dental care, dental treatment, or if you experience any tooth pain.

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