10 Frightening Dental Problems

dental problemsIn this informative article from Dr. Carol Ford, you can read about ten scary dental problems that affect people everywhere. It is important to view dental care as an integral part of your overall health.  If you ignore concerns with your oral health, there are some frightening things that can happen.  Here are 10 things that can be serious if you don’t seek dental care promptly.

1. Oral cancer – More than 110 mouth cancer cases are diagnosed per day in the U.S. Please ask your dentist about performing an oral cancer exam when you make your next appointment.

2. Sensitive teeth or tooth pain – There are many possible causes for tooth pain, but some can be extremely serious if left untreated.

3. Periodontitis – Otherwise known as gum disease.  Advanced gum disease can destroy bone and soft tissue and surgery may be necessary.

Read the other 7 scary dental problems from Dr. Ford here: Dental Care | 10 Scary Dental Problems.

Dental Problems For People Over 50

It used to be quite common for people over 50 to need dentures or false teeth.  But the good news is that older Americans are keeping their natural teeth longer than ever before into old age. 5217127-elderly-couple-enjoying-the-spring-in-the-parkThe bad news is that as people keep their teeth longer, there are more problems that are likely to arise.  It is important to keep up with regular dental visits.  These are some of the most common dental problems for people over 50:

Tooth decay – Older people can still get cavities.  In fact, they may even get them around old fillings or at the root of the tooth. To help prevent cavities, you should use fluoride.  If you don’t have fluoride in the drinking water in your area, be sure to ask your dentist about getting a fluoride prescription gel or rinse.

Dry mouth – Saliva is one of the best protectors against tooth decay. The calcium and phosphate present in saliva help to prevent demineralization of teeth. If you aren’t producing enough saliva, your teeth are at risk for decay.  You’ll know if you have dry mouth if you have a sticky feeling in your mouth, dry throat, or dry, cracked lips.  You may have difficulty swallowing and you may notice you have bad breath.  Older people tend to take more medications that can often cause dry mouth. Ways you can fix dry mouth include drinking more water and chewing sugar free xylitol gum.  If these things don’t work, talk to your dentist about a prescription saliva substitute.

Gum disease – Gums can become red, swollen or bleed easily and these are signs of early gum disease. If untreated, it can become periodontitis and cause infection which can lead to the loss of bones in your jaw and the loss of teeth.  Be sure to see your dentist regularly so your gums and teeth can be checked and treated for gum disease.

Oral cancer – Oral cancer incidence increases as you get older.  It is often linked to smoking and heavy alcohol use. Recently, doctors have discovered that the Human Papilloma Virus can also cause cancer.  The best hope for surviving oral cancer is to discover it at its earliest stages.  Make sure when you have dental exams, your dentist checks for signs of oral cancer.

Tooth crowding – As you age, your teeth shift and this can become problematic because it makes your teeth more difficult to clean.  Misaligned teeth can also lead to tooth erosion and damage to the supporting tissue and bone. If your teeth have shifted dramatically, you may want to see an orthodontist who can fit you with a retainer, spacer, or even braces.

The 6 Biggest Dental Problems For People Over 50 | Huffington Post

Eating Disorders and Your Dental Health

For some, eating disorders are unfortunately a part of every day life. These abnormal eating habits often involve either insufficient or excessive food intake to the detriment of an individual’s physical and psychological health. Just like a nutritional, balanced diet influences our overall health, a lack thereof can negatively influence it and in turn, create multiple oral and general health problems.

Eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa (anorexia), Bulimia Nervosa (bulimia) and compulsive over-eating can create an array of dental and periodontal ailments. The most common of these being: tooth enamel erosion, tooth decay and soft tissue damage. Click the link below to learn additional dental issues associated with eating disorders.

Eating disorders are serious threats, not only one’s dental health but more importantly, their life. If you or anyone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, please seek help.

You can read more about the individual eating disorders and how they affect oral health here.