13 Most Common Dental Problems with Adults - savina dental clinics malta and gozo

Good oral and dental care practices contribute to your overall health. That said, negligence and poor hygiene may lead to dental cavities, bad breath, gum disease, and so on. What’s more is that it could also lead to other serious health issues such as heart attack, diabetes, and cancer.

The truth is that our teeth are precious. And those who do not take good care of them may experience the following dental conditions. Here is a list of the most common dental problems for adults.

If you are looking for a dentist Malta or dentist Gozo, you can book a dental appointment online at one of Savina Dental Clinics, or contact us directly on (+356) 2125 7253 (Skyparks Business Centre, Malta International Airport), or (+356) 2155 7323 (Dingli Street, Victoria, Gozo). For international patients, it is recommended to request a free e-consultation where we can discuss your individual case and treatment options.

Bad breath

Halitosis or bad breath is a prevalent issue that affects about 25% of the world population. One out of every four people has halitosis.

Many problems could cause bad breath, but poor oral hygiene is the leading factor. If you don’t remove all the food particles from your mouth when cleaning it, bacteria breaks them down, and sulfur compounds are formed. Consequently, this results in bad breath.

The best way to treat halitosis is to ensure that you clean your mouth thoroughly twice a day.

Other common causes include tartar build-up leading to gingivitis and therefore bleeding that contributes to bad breath, and several cavities that can trap food that may not be easily cleaned and therefore cause smells.

Toothache and jaw pain

There are many causes of toothache and jaw pain. It could be as a result of chewing hard foods, cavities, an inflamed or non-vital (dead) nerve or injury.

Fortunately, dentists are trained to treat these problems, and they do so successfully in most cases. However, it would be best if you see the dentist whenever you endure jaw pain or toothache.

Cracked or broken teeth

When excess pressure is exerted on a tooth, it is likely to crack or break. Such pressure may come from grinding of teeth, large fillings, biting hard foods or accidents. Your dentist decides on the course of treatment after identifying the root cause. If your teeth cracks or breaks, you should see your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further complications.

Tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is common dental complaint with adults -savina dental clinics malta

Tooth sensitivity is closely associated with a worn-out enamel or exposure of the tooth to harmful elements as well as gum recession. Cracked teeth and cavities could also cause tooth sensitivity.

Dentists address this problem in several ways. These range from recommending desensitizing toothpaste, bonding, and applying fluoride to the affected area. In cases of severe gum recession, a surgical gum graft may be recommended.

Tooth erosion

Your teeth are covered by a thin outer cover known as the enamel. What happens is that our teeth interact with acidic foods, which may erode the enamel. These are the likes of soft drinks, white wine and citrus.

Checking your diet could help you avoid tooth erosion. It is the best form of treatment. However, visiting a dentist could help resolve this issue through composite bonding, a crown or veneers.

Crooked or misaligned teeth

Some people have to contend with misaligned or crooked teeth. It could be that their mouths are too small to accommodate all the teeth. Also, some people’s jaws may differ in size, leading to crooked teeth.

Orthodontics (braces), including removable aligners is the treatment of choice for misaligned teeth. Depending on the situation, dental veneers may be another solution as occasionally are dental crowns. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that you can do to avoid this problem. If you suffer from this issue, your dentist will offer several options.

Stained and discoloured teeth

Teeth stains mainly occur on the surface of the teeth or even below the enamel. You can get discoloured teeth from poor oral hygiene or various types of foods and drinks. If you take too much caffeine (tea and coffee), your teeth are susceptible to discolouration. Likewise, if you drink too much red wine and take tobacco regularly, a build-up of pigments can develop, leading to stained teeth.

Superficial (extrinsic) stains are normally easily removed with a scale and polish or with microabrasion treatment. Intrinsic stains are more difficult to remove and may be improved by teeth whitening. Specific situations, such as tetracycline staining, fluorosis and other dentine and enamel malformations, usually require a more complex solution that is best discussed with your dentist on an individual basis.

Bruxism or teeth grinding

Mouthguards Malta - Savina Dental Clinics

Occasional grinding of teeth is a rampant dental problem known as bruxism. It is not known to cause harm unless it is severe. If severe it can lead to enamel wear and temporomandibular joint problems. Most people with this problem lead normal lives.

Dental experts associate bruxism with anxiety and stress. To avoid tooth damage, the dentist may recommend mouthguards among other forms of treatment.

Root infection

When bacteria enter your tooth through cavities or cracks, they travel through the root canal and can cause a painful abscess to develop at the root tip.

Root infection can only be prevented by treating cavities, cracks, or chips on your teeth. Nonetheless, avoiding sugar-rich diets, staying hydrated, and practising good oral hygiene could keep this infection at bay.

Cavities/tooth decay

You have probably acquired a cavity or tooth decay at one point in your life. They can come up suddenly, and if not treated early, they lead to permanently damaged areas on your teeth. Several factors cause cavities. One of the leading causes of tooth decay is the action of bacteria in the mouth on sugary substrates.

When you don’t brush your teeth, at least twice a day, bacteria have ample time to feed off carbohydrates and sugars and convert them to acids that break down your enamel, leading to a cavity.

Gum disease (gingivitis)

Gingivitis refers to inflammation of the gums. It’s the most common causes are plaque and tartar accumulation resulting from poor oral hygiene. If not treated, it can severely damage your soft tissues and the bone that supports your teeth. The good news is that it is easily preventable through good oral hygiene.


Besides your teeth, the tissues that support them are also susceptible to infections. Periodontitis is more severe than gingivitis, where certain types of bacteria as well as tartar cause gum and bone recession and the deterioration of the periodontal ligament that connects your teeth to the surrounding bone. As a result of this, teeth can become mobile (start to feel loose) and could be lost completely if left untreated. You could avoid this issue by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and thoroughly and visiting the hygienist regularly. This is even more important if you are genetically predisposed to periodontal disease.

Oral cancer

While oral cancer is not an extremely common oral problem, cases are unfortunately on the rise and we included it on the list to help build awareness, and to ensure you get checked out regularly by your dentist. Some of its causes include smoking, drinking alcohol as well as infections by the human papillomavirus. Like other cancers, it is treated by chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery. In most cases, doctors recommend a combination of all these treatments.

Treating dental and oral problems

Most common dental and oral problems are treatable. Professional dentists are capable of diagnosing and treating most oral problems that you might have. If you have a toothache or any other dental issue, it’s best to book an appointment with your dentist and have it sorted out. Delay may cause further complications or even loss of teeth.

Oral hygiene

You can prevent most of the problems we have listed above by practising excellent oral hygiene. All you need to do is watch your diet and brush your teeth twice a day. Also, dentists recommend flossing as it helps to remove the food particles between your teeth.

Regular visits to the dentist

Early detection is key. Regular visits to the dentist could help uncover and treat dental problems before they progress. That is why it is essential not to miss your bi-annual dental check-up.

Best advice on the right cause of action to take

Whenever a dentist takes a look at your mouth, they examine it and provide the best advice. The dentist should be in a position to tell you what you need to do to avoid various problems. Also, when it comes to matters of hygiene, dental care practitioners offer the best advice.

The dental and oral problems we have listed above are typical. Most people develop these issues due to poor hygiene. With exceptional oral and dental care, you could keep all these problems at bay.

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Savina Clinic – Dental & Implantology Centres are friendly, state-of-the-art practices in Malta and Gozo dedicated to comprehensive quality dental care. Savina Dental is an innovative dental practice in Malta and prides itself on the high-quality customer service, low waiting room times, attention to detail and the advanced dental technology at its disposal.

Joseph Xuereb
Principal Dental Surgeon & Owner of Savina Dental Clinics, Dr Joseph Xuereb BChD (Hons), MFGDP(UK), MGDS RCS(Eng), FFGDP RCS(UK), FICD is a general dental practitioner with a special interest in Implant and Restorative Dentistry. Dr Joseph & the teams' full biographical information can be found here.