Dental problems are never fun, but they can be especially frustrating when they seem to crop up time and time again. While some dental issues may seem minor, you should never ignore them. Doing so can lead to bigger and more expensive problems down the road.

Here are five such dental problems that require your immediate attention. 

Persistent Toothache

If you have a toothache that just won't quit, it's important to see your dentist right away. While the cause of your toothache could be something as simple as a piece of food stuck between your teeth, it could also be indicative of a more serious problem like tooth decay.

Tooth decay is the breakdown of your tooth enamel, which is the hard, outermost layer of your teeth. It occurs when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, builds up on your teeth and produces acids that eat away at your enamel. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to cavities, tooth loss, and even infection.

An infection in your teeth can eventually lead to an abscess. An abscess is a painful pus-filled pocket that forms around the root of your tooth. If left untreated, an abscess can cause serious damage to your jawbone in some extreme cases.

Sensitive Teeth

If your teeth are sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks, you may have a problem with tooth enamel. When the enamel is damaged or worn down, the underlying layers of your teeth are exposed, which can cause sensitivity.

There are a number of things that can damage or wear down tooth enamel, including:

  • Acids from foods and drinks
  • Teeth grinding
  • Brushing your teeth too hard
  • Using a toothbrush with stiff bristles

If you experience sensitive teeth, see your dentist as soon as possible. They can help you determine the cause of your sensitivity and recommend lasting treatment options.

Treatment for sensitive teeth typically involves using a desensitizing toothpaste or fluoride gel. In more severe cases, your dentist may recommend a root canal procedure. This procedure aims to remove the damaged nerve tissue from your tooth and seal off the exposed root.

Bad Breath

Bad breath, also called halitosis, can be embarrassing and socially isolating. While it's often caused by something as simple as the food you ate for dinner, bad breath can also be a sign of gum disease.

Gum disease is an infection of the gums that causes bleeding, severe inflammation, and eventually tooth loss. It's often caused by plaque buildup and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

Bad breath could also be a sign of dry mouth, a condition where your mouth doesn't produce enough saliva. While it can be caused by medications or certain medical conditions, it can also be the result of smoking or drinking alcohol.

If you have bad breath that doesn't go away after brushing your teeth and tongue, make sure you see a dentist.