Skip to content

Common Dental Diseases

Oral health is an essential aspect of general well-being that people often underestimate until they develop a serious and painful dental problem.

There are various oral health conditions that can affect anyone, at any age. From common tooth decay to more complex conditions such as periodontitis, each type of dental disease presents specific challenges to an individual’s health and quality of life.

In this article, the professionals at our Montreal dental clinic describe common dental problems. Learn about the symptoms, causes and, most importantly, prevention and treatment of common oral health issues.


Tooth decay creates a destructive lesion that affects tooth structure. Cavities occur when acid produced by the bacteria in plaque attack the tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of the tooth. Once through the enamel, the acid will damage the dentin, the softer layer underneath. If not treated in time, the decay will reach the dental pulp, which is the nerve center of the tooth.

Causes of tooth decay

Cavities are mainly caused by a combination of factors, including:

  • A high-sugar diet
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Insufficient fluoride
  • Dry mouth

Symptoms of tooth decay

At first, cavities may present no symptoms at all. As they progress, the following signs may appear:

  • Dental sensitivity
  • Spontaneous pain
  • Visible holes in teeth: small cavities or black holes on the tooth surface
  • Appearance of white or brown spots

Cavity treatments

The type of cavity treatment depends on the severity of the decay:

  • Fluoridation: Applying fluoride to teeth to help restore enamel and stop the progression of early-stage decay
  • Fillings: Filling cavities caused by tooth decay with various materials, such as amalgam and composite resin
  • Crowns: Covering and restoring severely damaged teeth
  • Root canal treatment: Removing infected dental pulp and filling the root canal, in cases where the cavity has reached the tooth’s nerve
  • Tooth extraction: Removing a tooth if it is too damaged to be saved

Gingivitis and periodontitis

Gingivitis and periodontitis are two forms of periodontal disease that affect the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. Although they share certain similarities, these conditions have different implications for oral health. Prevention and treatment must be tailored to the situation.


Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, is the initial phase of periodontal disease. It is mainly caused by the accumulation of plaque, a sticky layer of bacteria and food debris, both on the teeth and along the gum line. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more serious oral health problem known as periodontitis.

Warning signs of gingivitis

  • Redness and swelling of the gums
  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
  • Sensitive gums


Periodontitis occurs when inflammation and infection spread beyond the gums and reach the ligaments and bones that support the teeth. This condition can lead to loosening of the teeth, the appearance of deep periodontal pockets between the teeth and gums, and, in the most severe cases, tooth loss.

Warning signs of periodontitis

  • Gum recession, exposing the root of the tooth
  • Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Teeth that shift or loosen

Dental abscess

A dental abscess is caused by a bacterial infection that leads to an accumulation of pus in the tooth or surrounding tissue, causing intense pain. There are two main types of dental abscess, each of which develops in a specific area of the mouth due to specific causes.

Periodontal abscesses

Periodontal abscesses form in the periodontal tissues, the supporting tissues around the tooth. They usually occur as a result of an infection in the gums and are often aggravated by the presence of periodontal disease. This type of abscess manifests itself as swelling of the gums, and pain can vary in intensity.

Periapical abscess

Periapical tooth abscesses, or acute apical abscesses, form at the tip of the tooth root, often as a result of a deep cavity that has been left untreated, which then infects the dental pulp and spreads to the root of the tooth. This abscess is characterized by intense pain that worsens when the tooth is chewed or subjected to pressure.

Abscess symptoms

  • Intense, persistent pain
  • Sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Swelling of the gums or face
  • Sensation of pressure around the tooth
  • Eventual discharge of pus and bad taste in the mouth

Abscess treatment methods

There are several ways to treat a dental abscess, depending on where it is located and how severe it is. Treatment is primarily aimed at eliminating the infection, and may involve:

Mouth ulcers

Mouth ulcers, also called oral cankers, are small, painful lesions that appear on the soft tissues of the mouth: the lips, inner cheeks, tongue, palate and base of the gums. Unlike fever blisters, mouth ulcers are not contagious and never appear on the outside of the lips.

Causes of mouth ulcers

The exact causes of mouth ulcers remain unknown, but several risk factors have been identified:

  • Stress or injury to the soft tissues of the mouth, such as biting the inside of the cheek
  • Nutritional deficiencies, particularly in vitamin B12, iron and folic acid
  • Allergic reactions to certain foods
  • Hormonal changes
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Reaction to certain types of toothpaste or mouthwash.

 Mouth ulcers symptoms

Symptoms of mouth ulcers include:

  • One or more small painful lesions inside the mouth
  • Lesions characterized by a white or yellow base surrounded by an inflamed red ring
  • Pain or discomfort when speaking, chewing or brushing teeth.

Mouth ulcers treatment

Although canker sores tend to disappear on their own in one to two weeks, steps can be taken to reduce pain and speed up the healing process:

  • Rinse mouth with a saline solution or antiseptic mouthwash to reduce inflammation and bacteria.
  • Apply creams or pastes specifically formulated to treat canker sores, which may contain anesthetic or anti-inflammatory ingredients.
  • Avoid spicy, salty or acidic foods, which can further irritate mouth ulcers.
  • Take supplements if mouth ulcers are linked to a nutritional deficiency.


Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a functional disorder. The affected person may grind or clench their teeth without realizing it, either when asleep (nocturnal bruxism) or while awake (diurnal bruxism).

Effects of teeth grinding

Bruxism can lead to:

  • Dental wear
  • Dental fractures
  • Occlusion problems.

Dental cysts

Dental cysts are fluid-filled pockets that form around tooth roots or in areas near to the jaw. They are usually the result of dental infection or inflammation, and are usually linked to untreated cavities, dental injuries, or problems with impacted wisdom teeth.

Although often asymptomatic at first, dental cysts can cause pain, swelling and sometimes damage to bone structures if left untreated.

Treatment of dental cysts

Dental cysts are treated differently according to their size, location and whether they are causing symptoms. Here are the most common treatments:

  • Aspiration: In some cases, the dentist will drain the cyst and inject a medicinal substance to reduce the risk of recurrence.
  • Surgical removal: For larger cysts, or those that could cause structural damage, surgery may be required. This procedure is generally performed under local anaesthetic.
  • Treating the underlying cause: If the cyst is caused by a dental infection, root canal treatment or tooth extraction may be necessary.
  • Antibiotics: In some cases, you dentist may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection associated with the cyst.


Malocclusion of the teeth is an incorrect alignment of the teeth when the jaw closes. This misalignment can affect the way a person chews and speaks, and can have an impact on their appearance. Mild malocclusion may not require any intervention, but severe malocclusion could require orthodontic treatment.

Malocclusion: consequences for oral health

  • Abnormal wear of teeth
  • Chewing problems
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Speech difficulties
  • Aesthetic problems

Malocclusion treatments

Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the malocclusion and may include:

  • Orthodontic appliances
  • Dental extraction
  • Orthognathic (jaw) surgery.

At Clinique Dentaire 1935, we help you avoid common dental problems

Oral health influences not only your ability to eat and speak comfortably, but also your self-confidence. There are many common dental problems, from cavities to periodontitis, that can impact your health. But with vigilance and professional care, many of these dental diseases can be avoided or effectively managed.

At Clinique Dentaire 1935, we’re dedicated to providing exceptional dental care in a welcoming, comfortable environment. Our experienced dentists use the latest technology and techniques to thoroughly examine your mouth, identify any signs of oral disease, and propose custom treatment plans.

We understand that every patient is unique, and that’s why we’re committed to providing personalized care. Don’t wait for the symptoms of dental disease to compromise your quality of life. Schedule a full exam at Clinique Dentaire 1935 today!

Recommended Posts

Complete Guide to Dental Inlays

Is one of your teeth damaged due to a cavity or fracture? Do you have an old filling that needs to be replaced? Or does
Read more

Dry Mouth: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

We have all experienced the unpleasant sensation of a dry mouth and bad breath when we wake up. Sometimes, the problem can be solved quickly
Read more

Oral Cancer: Symptoms and Detection

Oral health is like a mirror that reflects your general state of health, but it is often neglected until serious problems develop. Oral cancer, or
Read more