Dental Issues

Please note: This content is for informational purposes only. Only a dentist, physician or other qualified health care professional can make a diagnosis.

Common Issues

You know good dental habits can help prevent things like cavities and gingivitis, but you may not know what conditions like these look like or how they can affect your mouth. Use this visual guide to learn more about some of the most common dental health issues, symptoms to watch for and the potential treatments that are available.

Please note: This content is for informational purposes only. Only a dentist, physician or other qualified health care professional can make a diagnosis.

Abscessed Tooth

Abscessed Tooth. When the nerve of a tooth becomes infected or abscessed, root canal therapy is the only way to save an abscessed tooth. A tooth can become an abscess as a result of deep decay, a cracked tooth, or trauma to the tooth.

Broken Tooth

Broken Tooth. Teeth are remarkably stable, but a broken tooth is not uncommon. A broken tooth is a cosmetic dental problem, but it can also be an emergency. Broken and knocked out teeth require immediate attention.


Bruxism. Bruxism is the technical name for teeth grinding, clenching the jaw, or the “lockjaw” that sometimes happens to people as they sleep or concentrate. Bruxism can cause severe side effects to your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) and your teeth.


Cavities. A cavity is something you never want your Seattle dentist to say. If you are not brushing and flossing regularly or drinking and eating sugar-heavy foods, your risk for a cavity can be quite high. We’re here to help reverse the damage from a cavity or tooth decay.

Crooked Teeth

Crooked Teeth. Crooked teeth can be embarrassing, but they can also be more than just a cosmetic problem. For instance, they can make it difficult to chew properly, and they can lead to injury because they do not provide proper support for your jaw.

Dry Mouth

Dry Mouth. Everybody gets a dry mouth from time to time. Temporary mouth dryness can be brought on by dehydration, stress, or merely the average reduction in saliva flow at night. But persistent mouth dryness, a condition known as xerostomia, is cause for concern.

Gum Disease

Gum Disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, begins as gingivitis, then processes to periodontitis and then to advanced periodontitis.


Halitosis. Halitosis – or chronic bad breath – is something that mints, mouthwash or a good brushing can’t solve. Unlike “morning breath” or a strong smell that lingers after a tuna sandwich, halitosis remains for an extended amount of time and may be a sign of something more serious.

Impacted Wisdom Tooth

Impacted Wisdom Tooth. An impacted wisdom tooth is a tooth which does not fully erupt into the mouth because of blockage from other teeth (impaction). If the wisdom teeth do not have an open connection to the mouth, pain can develop.

Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer. Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer, is a type of head and neck cancer and is any cancerous tissue growth located in the oral cavity. Oral cancer affects thousands of people every year. Find out about the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer in the lips, teeth, and gums.


Periodontitis. Periodontitis is a severe gum infection that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. Periodontitis can cause teeth to loosen or lead to tooth loss. Periodontitis is common but largely preventable.

Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive Teeth. Sensitive teeth are typically the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots. Sometimes, however, tooth discomfort is caused by other factors, such as a cavity, a cracked or chipped tooth, a worn filling, or gum disease.

TMJ Disorder

TMJ Disorder. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is a pain in the jaw joint that can be caused by a variety of medical problems. The TMJ connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull (temporal bone) in front of the ear.


Toothache. A toothache or tooth pain happens when the nerve root of a tooth is irritated. Dental (tooth) infection, decay, injury, or loss of a tooth are the most common causes of a toothache. Read about toothache pain, causes, treatments, and remedies.

Tooth Decay

Tooth Decay. A variety of things causes tooth decay; in medical terms, cavities are called caries, which are caused by long-term destructive forces acting on tooth structures such as enamel and the tooth’s inner dentin material.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth. Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. Sometimes these teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth when healthy and properly aligned, but more often, wisdom teeth are misaligned and require removal.

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