Regular dental checkups are important at every stage of life, but they are especially vital for adults who have specific risks for oral problems. This is why it is critical to visit the dentist at least twice a year as you grow older:
Adult Dental Problems:
Gum disease or gingivitis needs to be caught in the first stage in order to reverse the damage. If not treated, gingivitis may lead to a more serious, destructive form of gum/periodontal disease called periodontitis. It is possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are so important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed.
Do you have missing teeth or suspect decay of one or more teeth? Did you know a space between your teeth may affect how you speak or eat? Even if it’s not noticeable, a missing molar can affect how you chew. Remaining teeth may shift and in some cases, bone loss can occur around a missing tooth. Dr. O’Brien’s state of the art advances can give you several options to repair the problems and help ensure a healthy bite.
Here are some options to replace a lost tooth or teeth.
- Bridges – are anchored to your adjacent teeth, they can be removable or fixed, depending on your mouth.
- Dentures. – are an option if you’ve lost all or most of your teeth.
- Implants. – are the most similar to a natural tooth.
If hot or cold foods make you wince, you may have sensitive teeth. Sensitivity in your teeth can happen for several reasons, including:
- tooth decay (cavities)
- fractured teeth
- worn fillings
- gum disease
- worn tooth enamel
- exposed tooth root
Sensitive teeth can be treated. You may use a desensitizing toothpaste or an alternative treatment based on the cause of your sensitivity. Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing sensitive-tooth pain.
Everyone’s mouth can be dry sometimes, but if you feel like your mouth is always dry, it may be time to seek treatment. Medications and certain health conditions can lead to dry mouth. Dry mouth can cause decaying of your teeth because of the decrease salivary flow.
Having a dry mouth is not itself serious but taking care of your teeth and gums and regular dental visits are important when living with dry mouth. Patients using oral inhalers for asthma often develop oral candidiasis, an oral fungal infection, and are encouraged to rinse their mouths with water after using the inhaler.
Oropharyngeal cancer can affect any area of the oropharyngeal cavity including the lips, gum tissue, cheek lining, tongue, jaw the hard or soft palate and throat. It often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore or swelling anywhere in the mouth or throat.
Regular visits improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily.
Symptoms of mouth or throat cancer can include:
- sores that bleed easily or do not heal
- a thick or hard spot or lump
- a roughened or crusted area
- numbness, pain or tenderness
- a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down.
Regular dental check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential for the early detection of cancerous and precancerous conditions.