There’s a common misconception amongst adults that they don’t need to go for dental visits once they grow older and leave their cavity-prone days behind. This is a dangerous and completely false assumption. The necessity for dental visits and regular dental checkups never ends. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 27% of all adults in the US have untreated dental decay, and 46% of all adults show signs of gum disease.

In fact, older individuals have a higher risk of suffering from a wide range of dental problems, such as oral cancer, periodontal disease, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), etc. Sapphire Smiles is one of the most reputable dental offices in Houston Heights for adult’s dentistry. Our dental clinic’s goal is to help everyone maintain their teeth in optimal conditions for their whole lives. Please continue reading to learn more about the need for adult’s dentistry.

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Common Dental Problems Amongst Adults

Periodontal Disease

The risk of losing one’s teeth to periodontal disease drastically increases after the age of 35. If you don’t maintain optimal oral healthcare habits or don’t go for regular dental checkups, you’ll eventually suffer from bacterial decay due to the accumulation of plaque and tartar in your teeth and gums. Bacterial decay leads to gum recessions, increasing the pockets of space between your teeth and gums. Eventually, you may suffer from advanced periodontal disease, which may lead to complete tooth loss.

Oral Cancer

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, oral cancer is most likely to affect men over the age of 40. As such, you must go for regular dental checkups, which will allow the dentist to detect early signs of oral cancer and treat it before it worsens. If you don’t catch oral cancer early enough, treating it may be difficult.

Broken Dental Fillings

Dental fillings generally last between 8 to 10 years, though they may also last up to 20 years in some cases. As such, if you get dental fillings for cavities in your 20s or 30s, they’re likely to wear away by the time you’re in your late 30s or 40s. Once the dental fillings wear away, you have a high risk of dental decay and periodontitis.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint, usually responsible for all the movements in your jaws, including speech, eating, chewing, etc. Adults are more likely to suffer from TMD because it sets in gradually due to years or decades of misaligned teeth or malocclusion.

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Optimal Oral Healthcare Habits for Adults

  • Brushing Frequency: You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes and at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure you reach all your teeth.
  • Fluoride Toothpaste: Fluoride strengthens the tooth’s enamel, protecting it against bacterial decay. Adults should brush with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Regular Replacement of Toothbrush: You must replace your toothbrush every three months to ensure the bristles aren’t worn or damaged.
  • Flossing Frequency: You must floss at least once everyday to remove all the plaque, tartar, and food particles accumulated between your teeth and gums.
  • Balanced Diet: You must eat a balanced diet with lots of fibers, vegetables, and fruits. You should cut down sugar consumption, such as sweets and soda because they increase the risk of bacterial decay.
  • No Smoking: The tar and other harmful chemicals in tobacco kill healthy mouth tissues, erode the tooth enamel, and increase the risk of oral cancer. As such, you must quit smoking immediately.
  • Clean Dental Appliances: You must regularly clean your dental appliances.
  • Dental Visits: You must go for regular dental checkups and teeth cleaning at least twice a year. If necessary, your dentist may also recommend dental visits with greater frequency.
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Adult’s Dentistry Q&As

Can adults get cavities?

Yes, adults can also get cavities because of improper oral health, old fillings, gum recession, or other issues.

What does it mean if my teeth are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures?

As you get older, your gums start receding, exposing the roots of your teeth, which is usually sensitive to extreme temperatures. As such, older individuals are more likely to suffer from sensitive teeth. You may have to switch to a toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth.

Can adults get braces?

Yes, adults can and should get braces to correct misalignment, malocclusion, or other bite-related issues. If you’re concerned about the visibility of braces, you can get invisible aligners, like Invisalign.

How often should I visit the dentist?

You should go for regular dental checkups at least twice a year. However, if you have a higher risk of dental decay or problems, your dentist may also recommend more frequent dental visits.

Does teeth change with age?

Over time, your enamel wears off, weakening your teeth and increasing the likelihood of fractured or broken teeth. Your gums also recede with age, exposing the roots of the teeth and increasing the risk of cavities and periodontitis.

How long can your teeth last?

Your permanent teeth can last a lifetime if you maintain optimal oral healthcare habits and go for regular dental visits. You don’t ever have to lose your teeth.

Why do teeth yellow as we age?

As you get older, your enamel starts thinning, making the darker dentin layer more prominent through the translucent enamel. This makes your teeth appear yellow. Another reason your teeth appear yellow is due to surface staining of the enamel because of tea, coffee, smoking, etc.

Do you want to learn more about Adult Dentistry? Ask us!

Contact Sapphire Smiles for Adult’s Dentistry in Houston Heights

Sapphire Smiles is one of the most reputable dental clinics in Houston Heights for adult’s dentistry. Our dental clinic believes that permanent teeth are forever, and we’re committed to helping everyone keep their teeth in optimal condition for their whole lives. To that end, we offer thorough preventive dentistry services, including regular dental checkups and teeth cleaning. For more information, please schedule an appointment with our dental clinic in Houston Heights, Texas.