Common Dental Problems

Many people have questions and concerns about their oral health, especially if they experience any kind of problem. Our dentists and team have provided information about common dental problems here, and we encourage you to both review this website as well as reach out to our team for more information. Please feel free to call TLC Escondido Dental at 760-741-5775 to learn more about dental problems in Escondido, California, and schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Jorge Reyes or Dr. Catalina Madrigal.

Bad Breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a common dental problem. It can be caused by many different factors, including:
  • Gum disease
  • Bacteria-filled plaque in your mouth
  • Poor or inconsistent oral hygiene
  • Cavities and infection
  • Tobacco products
  • Diet
  • Dry mouth
  • Dental appliances
  • Mouth breathing
Here are a few tips to help prevent bad breath:
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes, and floss daily
  • Make and keep regular dental appointments
  • Avoid tobacco products
  • Stay hydrated
  • Do not rely on sugary breath mints or chewing gum
  • Breathe through your nose and not your mouth
We invite you to make an appointment to speak with our dentists and see if any professional treatments may be beneficial to manage your bad breathe or resolve the issue that is causing it.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums can be caused by a variety of issues, including overly aggressive brushing and flossing. However, gums which bleed consistently may be a sign of gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is an infectious condition which impacts your gums, teeth and supporting bone, and which can cause significant damage to your oral and overall health if untreated. We recommend that you make an appointment with our dentists as soon as possible if your gums are bleeding. In the meantime, the best way to prevent bleeding gums is to practice good oral hygiene:
  • Brush at least twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Replace your toothbrush every two to three months
  • Avoid smoking, use of tobacco products and vaping
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • See your dentist twice a year for preventive care
If you are in a situation where your gums will not stop bleeding contact us immediately and try these home remedies while on your way to our office:
  • Apply a small ice pack
  • Use a warm salt water rinse (half a teaspoon of salt in eight oz of warm water)
  • Hold a wet tea bag against your gums (for five minutes, maximum)

Chipped Teeth

Teeth may chip due to slips and falls, accidents, contact sports, teeth grinding or other injuries. You may even chip a tooth simply by chewing on a hard piece of food. Common signs of chipped teeth include:
  • Rough, jagged tooth surfaces
  • Irritated gums around the problem tooth
  • A sore tongue from catching on the uneven edge of the tooth
  • Pain when chewing and biting
  • A tooth that just feels different than usual
If your teeth chips, please:
  • Call us immediately to schedule an appointment
  • Use dental ax or sugarless gum to cover any sharp parts of the tooth
  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers to manage discomfort
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water or use a cold compress to manage swelling
  • Avoid extremely hot or cold foods, as your tooth will be sensitive
  • Do not eat hard foods — stick to soft foods and avoid chewing to prevent additional damage

Crooked Teeth


Crooked and overlapping teeth may be caused by jaw size or alignment, finger sucking habits, tongue thrusting habits, missing teeth, injuries or genetics, among other factors. Fortunately, crooked teeth have an easy solution — our dentists can provide you with orthodontic treatment to align your teeth and correct crooked and misaligned teeth.

Dental Anxiety

Many people suffer from dental anxiety and fear. Our dentists and team are committed to helping you feel comfortable in our office, and will make every effort to relief your fears and help you receive the care you need without anxiety or stress. Here are a few things you can do to help reduce your anxiety:
  • Speak with our dentists and team — if we know there is a problem, we can make accommodations and take steps to help you feel more comfortable
  • Use calming techniques such as controlled breathing or finding distractions in the room
  • Listen to music
  • Ask us about sedation options
  • Take breaks as needed
  • Ask our dentists about alternative treatment options

Failed Implants

Dental implants have a success rate of 98%. However, if you do not care for your implants properly, you run the risk of being part of the 2% that experience implant failure. Common signs of a failing implant include:
  • Discomfort and pain
  • A loose or shifting implant
  • Gum swelling and inflammation
  • Gum recession around the implant
  • Look or broken implant crown
  • Difficulty chewing or speaking
Implant failure can be caused by a combination of factors, such as:
  • Gum disease
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Smoking and use of tobacco products
  • Failure to make and keep dental appointments
  • Insufficient supporting bone
  • Improper implant placement
  • Accidents
Our dentists may recommend a few different options for restabilizing your implant depending on how early we catch the failed implant and the cause and severity of the failure. This may include stabilizing the existing implant or removing and replacing it with a new implant. We will discuss all your options with you during your consultation.

Gum Recession

Gum recession may occur as a result of:
  • Overaggressive brushing
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Gum disease
  • Use of tobacco products
Common symptoms of gum recession include:
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Exposed tooth roots
  • Teeth that look longer
  • Inflammation
  • Easy bleeding of the gums
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
Gum recession increase your risk of tooth loss and can cause a number of problems for your oral health. Our dentists will work with you to halt the recession and help you regain your oral health. Recommendations may include using a gentler brushing technique and a softer toothbrush, deep dental cleanings, gum surgery and soft tissue grafting.

Missing Teeth

Nearly 30% of adults will lose a tooth at some point in their life. Missing teeth can cause a number of problems, from additional tooth misalignment and tooth loss to headaches and loss of supporting bone. It is crucial that you replace your missing teeth as soon as possible to maintain your oral health and function and prevent any additional problems from developing. Tooth replacement options include: Of these options, the best choice is dental implants and implant-supported solutions, as these replace the roots as well as the crowns of your teeth to promote long-term oral health and function as well as restore your beautiful smile.

Lost Crowns

If you lose a dental crown, please:
  • Call our office at once to schedule an appointment
  • Chew on the opposite side of your mouth until you can receive treatment
  • Avoid hard, sticky foods
  • Brush thoroughly but gently to keep bacteria at bay until the crown can be restored
  • Do NOT try to glue or adhere the crown back on yourself
If you accidentally swallowed your crown — don’t panic! This is common. Crowns are made of non-toxic materials and will pass naturally. Just contact our office to schedule an appointment with our dentists so that we can resolve the issue.

Stained Teeth

Your teeth may become stained over time due to a number of factors, including the natural aging process, use of tobacco products, your diet and your oral hygiene habits. Here are a few stain-prevention tips to help you keep your smile brighter:
  • Practice good oral hygiene habits (brush twice a day and floss daily).
  • Limit consumption of stain causing foods and drinks (curry, wine, tomato sauce, soda, coffee, etc.) Rinse your mouth with water 30 minutes after eating or drinking these foods.
  • Use a whitening toothpaste.
  • Avoid smoking or the use of tobacco products.
  • Make and keep regular dental appointments for cleanings and exams.
  • Ask our dentists about professional teeth whitening treatments.
Professional teeth whitening is a great option to brighten your teeth and improve their appearance. Both in-office and take-home whitening treatments are available.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Clenching and grinding your teeth while asleep is a common dental problems. Also known as bruxism, this chronic action can lead to a number of oral health issues, including worn and flattened teeth, cracked or broken teeth, TMJ issues, tooth decay, gum recession, headaches and other orofacial pain, and tooth sensitivity. If you believe you may be experiencing teeth grinding, please speak with our dentists. There are a number of solutions we may recommend to help manage this condition, ranging from night guards and relaxation exercises to restorative treatments.


Toothaches can be caused by a number of different factors, but the only way to know for sure what is causing your discomfort is to meet with our dentists. Common causes of toothaches include:
  • Cavities
  • Broken teeth
  • Bruxism
  • Infection
  • Loose or damaged crowns or fillings
  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Gum disease
  • TMJ disorders
If you are experiencing tooth pain or discomfort, please reach out and schedule an appointment so that we can determine the cause and provide a treatment plan which meets your needs. While waiting to come in, you can manage discomfort with over-the-counter pain medication, cold compresses or gently rinsing your mouth with salt water.

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can occur as a result of many different factors, such as:
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Gum recession
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Overaggressive brushing
  • Using the wrong mouthwash
  • Plaque buildup
  • Excessive teeth whitening (especially using over-the-counter products)
Our dentists will discuss your oral health and lifestyle factors with you to determine the cause of your sensitivity and find a solution that meets your needs. While waiting to meet with our dentists, you can try brushing more gently, suing a toothpaste meant for sensitive teeth, avoiding acidic foods and drinks, focusing on unclenching your teeth, drinking hot or cold beverages with a straw, and taking a break from teeth bleaching.

White Spots

White spots may develop on your teeth as a result of fluorosis, enamel hypoplasia, poor dental hygiene or the foods you eat. White spots are not typically a serious health concern, but can increase your risk of cavities and make you feel self-conscious about your smile. Our dentists can recommend treatments to remove white spots and help you regain a healthy, confident smile.

Worn Teeth

Your teeth will naturally wear down a little bit over time. However, excessively worn teeth can cause problems for your oral health and may make your teeth more susceptible to decay, cracking and breaking. Excessive tooth wear may occur due to a number of factors, including:
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching}
  • Tooth and bite misalignment
  • Diet (excessive consumption of acidic foods and beverages)
  • Physical abrasion, such as that caused by using your teeth to open bottles or bags, or bad habits of chewing on fingernails, ice, or pens and pencils
Worn teeth also contribute to tooth sensitivity, discolored teeth, headaches and jaw bone, difficulty chewing and tooth damage. Please speak with our dentists about solutions to resolve worn teeth and improve your oral health and function.