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Dental Health Becomes More Important With Age

Posted on December 17th, 2013 by

Each age group has its own risks when it comes to dental care. As we get older, these risks increase and we have to make sure we are taking good care of ourselves. The following are oral issues that become more common as we get older:
Gum Disease
When plaque is not removed from the surfaces of teeth, it will start to harden, making it more difficult to brush and clean, leading to gum disease. Severe gum disease can destroy the tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, which is the only stage that is reversible.
When gingivitis goes untreated, it leads to periodontitis, a far more serious and destructive disease. Proper oral hygiene is necessary to prevent these diseases, as well as regular dental checkups and eating a balanced diet.
Teeth Grinding
Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is an unconscious condition occurring while a person is sleeping. Over time, it can cause serious damage to your teeth and jaw. The most common cause of bruxism is stress, but sleep disorders may also contribute. Treatment of this condition depends on the cause, but most often a patient is given a custom-fitted mouth guard to protect teeth while sleeping.
Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the joints in your jaw. TMJ disorders constitute any issue that prevents these muscles from working properly. Possible causes of TMJ disorder are arthritis, dislocation, injury or alignment problems. Some symptoms to look out for are: pain around the ear, jaw tenderness, clicking noises when opening the mouth or headaches. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your dentist right away.
Root Canals
Cavities can sometimes be too deep to be fixed, requiring root canal treatment. These procedures treat the tooth’s dental pulp, or core, which contains blood vessels and nerves. Pulp tissue may die when it becomes infected or injured, and if it isn’t treated, may cause the tooth to fall out. The treatment involves removal of the pulp, then cleaning and sealing of the root canal.
Sensitive Teeth
If you experience pain when consuming hot of cold foods, you may have sensitive teeth. This can be caused by tooth decay or cavities, fractured teeth, worn fillings, gum disease, worn enamel or an exposed tooth root. This condition can be treated in a number of ways, but the best prevention is brushing, flossing and seeing your dentist regularly to address any concerns.
Along with aging comes additional health concerns. All of these oral issues listed can be prevented, diagnosed and treated at a professional dental checkup. If you have been avoiding your dentist, now is the time to schedule an appointment.
Courtesy of Mouth Healthy

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