Taking care of your teeth and mouth should be a lifelong process as you don’t develop immunity to dental problems with time. Besides following a proper home care routine, you should schedule regular professional cleanings and dental checkups so your dentist or oral hygienist can identify problems in their early stages and recommend the appropriate remedy in a timely manner.
As you get older, there are a number of conditions that adults should look out for, including:
1. Gum Disease
Gum disease can easily go unnoticed until it develops into a serious and destructive form known as periodontitis. Anyone can get gum disease, even with routine brushing and flossing, because some plaque can build up to form tartar, which can only be removed by professional cleaning. Although it can be successfully treated, it is best to avoid gum disease by not only following proper home dental care, but also avoiding sugary and acidic foods, and keeping your dental visits.
2. Missing Teeth
Research indicated that the average adult aged between 20 and 64 years has 3 or more missing or decayed teeth. Any spaces between your teeth should be filled to keep your remaining teeth from shifting into the gap. Bone loss can also occur at the site of the missing tooth, resulting in immature aging of your face. Fortunately, there are many options to replace missing teeth, including dental implants, dentures, and bridges.
Sensitive teeth are a common problem among adults. Sensitivity to hot or cold foods can be caused by worn tooth enamel, gum recession exposing the tooth root, gum disease, worn fillings, fractured teeth, or cavities. To address the problem, your dentist can recommend that you get a filling, use a desensitizing toothpaste, or use an alternative treatment depending on the cause of the sensitivity. Proper brushing and flossing with a fluoride-based toothpaste is also important to promote tooth remineralization.
4. Dental Fillings Breakdown
Fillings typically last 8 to 10 years, though it is not unusual for them to last for decades. When fillings start to break down, they can hide food particles and bacteria where your toothbrush can’t reach them. In severe cases, it can cause decay deep in the restored tooth. So, it is important to get any kind of tooth restoration inspected routinely to identify the need for re-treatment.
5. Dry Mouth
Having a dry mouth is common for most people, but if it persists, it could be a sign of an underlying condition or disease. Without the cleansing effects of saliva, you are more prone to tooth decay and a range of other oral problems. A dry mouth can also be caused by medications, so it is important that you discuss it with your dentist to find a suitable solution.
Studies show that men over 40 years are at high risk of oral cancer, especially those who use alcohol and tobacco products. So, it is important that you get your dentist to perform an oral cancer screening exam during your regular checkups.