Now that you've reached the mid-point in your life, you need to start paying closer attention to your teeth. This is when serious dental problems can kick in. If you're visiting your dentist at least twice a year, they'll be able to monitor your teeth and gums for changes that might be occurring. However, if you're not seeing your dentist as often as you should, you might not be aware of the changes that are taking place inside your mouth. Here are four dental problems that can affect you during this stage of life.
If you're not taking care of your teeth, you run the risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease might start out as a minor irritation but it can lead to bone deterioration and tooth loss. In fact, according to studies, gum disease is the leading cause of premature tooth loss in adults. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding and swelling of the gums. Signs of advanced gum disease include loose teeth and pus deposits around the gum line. You can prevent gum disease by brushing and flossing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year.
If you suffer from dry mouth, you may be at risk for developing oral infections and tooth decay. Your mouth uses saliva to wash bacteria and food deposits away from your teeth. If your mouth isn't producing enough saliva, bacteria has the opportunity to grow and flourish. You can help increase your saliva production by sipping on water throughout the day.
As you age, your teeth can become more sensitive to extreme temperatures, such as overly hot or cold food and drinks. While it can be a natural part of the aging process, sensitivity can also be a sign of hidden dental problems such as tooth decay, cracked teeth, and exposed roots. If you've suddenly developed tooth sensitivity, you should contact your dentist.
Oropharyngeal cancer can develop in any part of your oral cavity, including your mouth, throat, tongue or palate. This type of cancer has several risk factors, including age. Research shows that most people who develop oropharyngeal cancer are over the age of 55. During your dental visits, your dentist will inspect your mouth for signs of this cancer. If you're not visiting your dentist on a regular basis, you need to watch for the following symptoms:
- Mouth sores that bleed or do not heal properly
- Thick, hard spot inside your mouth
- Numbness, pain or tenderness inside your mouth or throat
- Rough or crusted area on the inside of your cheeks
Now that you're aging, you need to pay close attention to your mouth and teeth. If you develop any of the problems described above, be sure to speak to a dentist as soon as possible. For maximum protection, you should be seeing your dentist at least twice a year.
For more information, contact professionals like Esthetic Dental Group LLC.