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What Are The 3 Common Oral Problems? Check The Guide!

Conditions that can affect the health of teeth, gums, and related structures are considered oral problems. Oral problems can generally lead to toothache, tooth discoloration, ...

by Jason Wesley

This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

Conditions that can affect the health of teeth, gums, and related structures are considered oral problems. Oral problems can generally lead to toothache, tooth discoloration, and difficulty in chewing. According to the WHO, oral problems affect about 3.5 billion people worldwide.

Oral problems are usually linked to lifestyle choices such as poor oral hygiene, tobacco consumption, and overconsumption of sugary foods and beverages.  However, oral problems can also happen due to other chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart conditions.

But with early detection and proper care, most of these conditions are largely preventable. Keep reading to learn about the three common oral problems in detail and how to solve them. 

How To Identify The 3 Major Dental Problems?

Common Dental Problems

Everybody needs healthy and white teeth, but we are often stuck with oral problems that affect our smile, confidence, and even the ability to eat. Many oral conditions may affect you, but according to the CDC, the 3 most common oral problems include cavities, periodontal (gum) disease, and oral cancer.  Let’s examine each in detail: 

1. Tooth Decay (Cavity)

As the name suggests, tooth decay, or tooth cavity, is a condition where the tooth decays and develops a hole. It is the most common oral problem in the world. Cavities happen when the bacteria in the mouth get attached to your teeth to form plaques.

When you consume sugary foods or drinks, the bacteria produce an acid that can break down the enamel of your teeth. Over time, the bacteria fully disintegrate the enamel and start to dig through the soft tissues underneath, causing a cavity or a hole in your teeth. 

Cavities can cause toothache, bad breath, and pain when you eat and drink cold, hot, or sweet things. Cavities are highly preventable with good oral hygiene practices such as brushing twice a day, flossing after each meal, etc. Depending on the severity of your conditions, the treatment options may include fillings, crowns, root canals, or tooth extraction followed by dentures. 

2. Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Inflammations or infections that affect the gum are considered gum disease or periodontal disease. It is the second most common oral problem in people and affects about 4 in 10 adults aged above 30 years in the US. Poor oral hygiene, a weakened immune system, diabetes, or heridity may increase the risk of periodontal conditions.

The early form of gum disease is called gingivitis, which can lead to gums that are red, swollen, and bleed easily. In-office procedures like tooth cleaning are an effective treatment for the conditions. With proper oral hygiene, you can prevent it from coming back.

Untreated gingivitis may lead to a severe form of periodontal disease called periodontitis. It can affect and damage the bone and soft tissue that support your teeth, causing them to loosen up and fall off. In addition to improved dental hygiene, procedures like scaling, curettage, and flap surgery can be used to treat the condition.

3. Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is one of the most serious oral problems that has led to the death of more than 10,000 people in the US in a year. Oral cancer can form in any part of the mouth, including the lips, gums, and inner cheeks.

The symptoms of oral cancer include sore lips and mouths, loose teeth, the growth of lumps in the mouth, unexplained mouth pain, ear pain, and pain when swallowing. If you are persistently experiencing any of these symptoms or a combination of them, you should consult a doctor for further diagnosis.

You can reduce the risk of oral cancer by implementing some healthy changes in your lifestyle, such as avoiding tobacco and alcohol, protecting your lips and mouth from overexposure to the sun, and getting regular dental check-ups.

If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, your doctor may recommend treatments based on the location, severity, and your personal preferences. It can include tumor removal surgeries, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, drug therapy, and immunotherapy

How Can I Improve My Oral Health?

Improper or poor oral hygiene can cause several problems that vary in severity, often leading to pain, discomfort, and even death in extreme and rare cases. You can implement some healthy practices into your daily life to improve your oral health and reduce the risk of oral disease. They are: 

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day by using fluoride toothpaste. 
  2. Floss your mouth at least twice a day or after each meal. 
  3. Visit your dentist once a year even if you are using dentures.
  4. Avoid using tobacco products. 
  5. Limit alcohol intake and sugary drinks to a minimum. 


“Oral problems” is an umbrella term that can be used to describe any condition that can affect the teeth, gum, and related facial structure. These diseases can cause toothache, tooth loss, disfigurement of the face, discoloration of the tooth, and death in rare cases. Tooth decay, periodontal disease, and oral cancer are the three most common oral problems. 

There are multiple treatment options and preventive methods you can implement to treat these conditions. Moreover, you can improve your oral health by adopting some healthy changes to your lifestyle, such as avoiding tobacco products, brushing twice a day, and visiting the dentist at least once a year. With proper awareness and oral hygiene, you can prolong your oral health. 


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