Periodic dental examinations are important for the well-being of everyone. Even if you don’t have discomfort or pain, It’s recommended by the American Dental Association to at least have regular examination twice a year.
Even If you brush and floss regularly, you may face certain oral health issues as an adult. Luckily, your dentist can help you meet most of these challenges quite successfully.
It’s no secret; more than 50 million Americans suffer from periodontal disease. This is the destruction of the hard and soft tissues that support the teeth. Generally, periodontal disease is caused by harmful bacteria that accumulate at and below the gum line. Thorough brushing and flossing can typically prevent or control the disease. Unfortunately, the early signs of the disease can be easily missed at home, but readily detected during a routine dental visit.
- Gum disease begins as gingivitis, which in this early stage is still reversible. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen or tender gums that tend to bleed when you brush them. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your dentist before serious problems develop. Advanced stages of gum disease may lead to tooth loss.The health of your gums can also affect your overall health. Recent studies have shown a possible link between periodontitis (a gum disease) and other diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and a possible link to premature births. To prevent gum disease from getting started in the first place, be sure to brush twice a day, floss daily and schedule professional cleanings every six months.
- Cavities around existing fillings (called recurrent decay) and decay on the root surfaces of the teeth become more common as we age. So it’s important to brush with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and see your dentist regularly.
- Sensitivity can be an increasing problem as one ages. Your gums naturally recede over time, exposing areas of the tooth that are not protected by enamel. These areas are particularly prone to pain due to cold or hot foods or beverages. In severe cases cold air, as well as sensitivity to sour and sweet drinks and foods, can occur. If you experience sensitivity, try an anti-sensitivity toothpaste. If the problem persists, see your dentist, as the sensitivity may be an indication of a more serious condition, such as a cavity or a cracked or fractured tooth.
- Crowns are used to strengthen damaged teeth. A crown entirely covers or “caps” a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. Implants and bridges are used to replace missing ones. Dental implants replace one or more teeth or are used to attach full or partial dentures. Consult with your dentist to see if implants are right for you. Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space.