Can adults suffer from dental problems?
Dental problems can affect anyone at any age and can impair the function of the individual teeth and mouth. Most people think that dental problems happen to children, teenagers, and young adults only. There is the belief that once you reach a certain age, you run a lower risk of developing these problems, however, this is not the case.
Dental problems can happen for any number of reasons ranging from unexpected illness to injury to the mouth, and even genetics. We discuss some of the more common dental problems that adults face and what you can do to overcome them.
What are some of the Common Dental Problems that Adults Experience?
Missing teeth: Losing teeth can be embarrassing and scary for many. Aside from the reasons listed above, poor oral hygiene also plays a major role in losing teeth. Untreated decaying or damaged teeth can also affect your everyday life by causing discomfort and pain and can ultimately result in your teeth falling out. Missing teeth can affect how you speak and eat and the spaces left by missing teeth can become a breeding ground for bacteria (since you don’t brush or floss there). The remaining teeth (surrounding the gaps) can begin to shift or you can suffer from bone loss. It is therefore important to replace missing teeth as soon as possible to save your remaining teeth. Your dentist will be able to advise on the best form of treatment to replace your missing teeth and restore proper function to your mouth.
Gum disease: Gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease) is caused by poor oral hygiene and a build-up of plaque and tartar. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to the irreversible stage of periodontitis which can cause discomfort, bleeding, pain, and even the loss of teeth. Treatment depends on the severity of the gum disease, but this can be prevented with good oral hygiene at home and regular visits to your dentist for a professional cleaning and regular check-ups.
Crooked teeth: Teeth can move at any age, even if you’ve had braces at a younger age. Missing teeth, injury, or genetics can cause your teeth to slowly move out of place even as an adult. This can cause problems with chewing or speaking. There are many teeth straightening options available for adults today, some of which are designed to be more discreet and comfortable than traditional metal braces. It is important to straighten your teeth since it will not only improve your smile but the function of your mouth as well.
Stained teeth: Consuming foods and beverages such as berries, dyed food, tea, coffee, red wine, etc. on a regular basis can cause your teeth to become stained. Teeth whitening can help bleach the stains and give you a whiter and brighter smile. Your dentist can also recommend porcelain veneers which will help cover up the stains for an instantly whiter smile, especially if the teeth whitening treatments did not work effectively.
Sensitivity: If consuming foods or drinks that are too hot or too cold cause you pain then your teeth could be sensitive. This can be caused by cavities, worn out tooth enamel and fillings, or fractured teeth. The good thing about sensitive teeth is that it can be treated either with desensitising toothpastes or an appropriate form of treatment (decided on by your dentist) based on what’s causing the sensitivity.
Teeth grinding: This often occurs while you are asleep, so most times you won’t even be aware that you are doing it. Teeth grinding can be caused by anxiety, stress, or even sleep disorders and cause major damage to your teeth and jaw. It can erode your teeth’s natural enamel leaving it more susceptible to cavities and can cause pain in your mouth and jaw. Your dentist will be able to identify the effects of teeth grinding and help establish the cause of it and provide you with a mouth guard to use when sleeping to help protect your teeth and mouth.
Cavities: Poor oral hygiene can cause plaque and tartar to build up which can cause cavities. This can be quite painful and can affect the function of your mouth. If the cavity is too deep it can become painful and will require a root canal to resolve the issue. A root canal involves removing the infected dental pulp (inner portion of the tooth made up of blood vessels and nerves) to save the tooth. If left untreated, the entire tooth can become infected and you will end up losing it.
Damaged teeth: Your teeth can become chipped or cracked which looks unappealing and can make biting, chewing, and even speaking difficult. Your dentist will correct the issue using a crown, bridge, or veneers, which will help your teeth look and function as normal.
Oral cancer: This is an extremely dangerous disease. If not caught in time, treatment could become complicated and lower your chances of successfully overcoming it. Your dentist will perform an oral cancer screening during your regular examinations to check for any abnormalities which could indicate the disease, which could end up saving your life.
Dental Care for Common Adult Dental Problems
Taking care of your teeth is an important part of maintaining a healthy mouth, a beautiful smile, and excellent overall health. Whilst most adults assume that their teeth are healthy and won’t experience any dental problems, this misconception can lead to unnecessary problems later on. It is important to practice good oral hygiene and to visit your dentist on a regular basis to ensure that any dental problems are identified and treated before it gets worse.
LARA dental, Lara Victoria
If you would like to learn more about some of the common adult dental problems, have any queries, or would like to book an appointment, then call us on 03 5282 3201 or complete the query form on the Contact Us page.