The Cause and Effect of Dental Problems

The truth is, dental problems rarely just 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 what effects it may have.  Your local dentist in Fairview, TX understand 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 are needed by each individual.

Take a look at this overview of some common cause and effect dental scenarios:

Cause and effect of dental problems


Cause: A combination of factors can cause a cavity including bacteria in your mouth, dry mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks, tooth decay, and not cleaning your teeth well. Cavities don’t develop overnight, and some types of bacteria can take a while to cause dental decay. However, cavities can also form as soon as a few hours after it is consumed. Cavities are treatable when caught early. You should visit your dentist every six months to remove plaque and calculus from the surface of your teeth and check.

Effect: Tooth becomes weak, there could be pain, infection, toothaches, and if left untreated, it may cause the surrounding teeth to be infected and eventually may require tooth extraction.

Gum Disease

Cause: Your gums are actually 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, you might experience the following with gum disease.

Gums that are red, tender, or swollen
Gums bleeding 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)
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

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, bad breath, other infections, exposure of the roots of your teeth, and in severe cases, tooth loss and oral cancer.

Sensitive Teeth

Cause: Not all teeth are created equal where some may experience tooth sensitivity. Some people are naturally born with thinner enamel on their teeth than others, and in some cases, the enamel can even be worn down by everyday exposure to certain things like caffeine or acidic foods, sugary foods, brushing our teeth too hard, using a hard toothbrush, or grinding your teeth at night.

Effect: People with tooth sensitivity may experience pain or discomfort. This may be caused by hot or cold foods and drinks, sweets, citrus fruits, cold water, brushing, and alcohol based mouth rinses.

Irreversible pulpitis (inflamed or infected dental nerve, 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. Furthermore, when irreversible pulpitis occurs, the pain may not be relieved even after the causal factors are removed or the stimulus goes away.

Stained teeth

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

Extrinsic. Although extrinsic tooth discoloration is a common cause of teeth staining, it’s likely that the stains are only affecting the tooth 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 include tooth decay, trauma or injury to a tooth, too much fluoride, and genetics.

Age-related. As we grow older, the enamel on our teeth naturally starts to wear away, which can make our teeth appear darker and discolored.

Effect: No matter the cause of stained teeth, it is usually a cosmetic concern so it may cause some to feel insecure in their appearance.  

Tooth Loss

Cause: Tooth loss can happen if tooth decay, or periodontal disease is not treated in a timely manner.  Accidental injury may also cause tooth loss depending on the severity of the injury.

Effect: Changes in speech pattern, difficulty chewing, cosmetic concerns, shifting of teeth, and jawbone loss may result from tooth loss.

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: In certain cases, bad breath is the first sign of something wrong. By not finding the root cause, it may eventually lead to other dental health issues.  

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, depending on whether the area is treated right away, and or if the area continues to be agitated. 


Common dental problems aren’t just a random thing that happens to your teeth. Instead, they are usually linked to a common cause with a treatable solution.  When you understand the causes and consequences of these problems, you can take proactive steps in lowering your risk. At Sloan Creek Dental, we are dedicated to promoting and protecting your oral health. Please contact our family dental office if you have any questions about your dental care.